Sunday, April 3, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 3


Happy Day 3 of National Poetry Month! April always brings poems, vases full of poems. And over at Jama's Alphabet Soup, Jama always generously shares the various projects happening around the Kidlitosphere during this time. Enjoy all of it...

For National Poetry Month 2022, I will share a daily poem inspired by a popular proverb. defines a proverb as "a short, popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses some commonplace truth or useful thought." A proverb might also be called a saying, an expression, a maxim, or an adage, and Merriam Webster notes that proverbs are "nuggets of wisdom" which often have popular opposites. Some of you may know the word Proverbs from the book of the Bible, but proverbs are not all from the bible - many come from daily life.

My suggestion is that we write from proverbs in many ways:
  • Write a true story poem inspired by the proverb
  • Make up a story poem connected to the proverb
  • Write a poem agreeing with the proverb
  • Write a poem disagreeing with the proverb
  • Connect a fact or historical moment to the proverb
  • Take any one word or bit from the proverb and write from that
  • Anything else!

Along with the daily proverb poem, I will also share the the proverb which will inspire the next day's poem. I invite to you write from proverbs of your own choosing or to write proverb poems along with me. You can read some examples and learn a little more about this projects and my 2010-2020 poetry projects HERE.

Here is the PICK A PROVERB LIST that I will write from throughout April 2022, and I will add to this as I discover more proverbs. As school districts block outside Google docs for student access, I welcome teachers to "Make a Copy" of this document and to share it with students from your school district accounts.

List of Proverb Poems from April 2022:

And now, today's poem!

Students - Today's proverb - One man's trash is another man's treasure - means that often, something that one person does not value will be valued by a different person. 

I love objects that have been loved by others first: toys holding stories, old scarves, handmade woolen blankets, chunky tea mugs, thrift stores (see 2014 National Poetry Month project), garage sales, all of it. Others' trash is often treasure to me (I have a soft spot for old chairs especially), and so this proverb is close to my heart, Have you ever taken on another's bit trash as your own personal delight? Pay attention to the proverbs that resonate with you. Which ones feel important to your life or growth these days?

I watched today's story poem in my mind in the way that one watches a movie. The first lines poured out from my pen as if I really had seen this happen. The movie was in my head, and I brought it to the page. Remember - we can write what we know. And we can also write about what we dream while awake or asleep. Writing is wide and welcoming. Let your thoughts know that you welcome them all!

In the first few lines of today's poem, I give instructions to the reader: stand by the tree, wait, watch The One Who Sees arrive. You might wish to try this technique of giving instructions to your reader related to the proverb at hand (or related to anything). It can be fun to be bossy as a writer. Not always do I invite a reader so directly into a poem, but at times...I do.

If anyone is wondering, my favorite part of writing this poem was the part about the scenes on the chairs. Do you choose favorite lines of your own poems? Favorite lines to write? Favorite lines to read? Are they usually the same?

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

Two heads are better than one.

I invite you to join me in writing about the above proverb using the suggestions listed above today's poem or in choosing your own proverb from the list linked above and in the sidebar here throughout April 2022. If you have a proverb to add to the list, please write to me with a parent or guardian or teacher through that adult's account.

And if any classes of students are picking and writing proverbs along with me (or doing any connected work), I invite teachers to email me through my CONTACT ME button above. If you'd like, we can talk about publishing your students' work here at The Poem Farm. Please note that I do not respond to emails from students as I do not encourage writing to strangers online, but I do respond to students who correspond through parents, guardians, and teachers.

Maybe see you tomorrow for Pick a Proverb, Day 4!


Please share a comment below if you wish. 
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.


  1. "She knows they're good." I want to be that old woman who sees the good and works to repair the bad. "She sings to every single chair."

  2. Your poem sings along with Heidi's poem for today! Hooray for upcyling!

  3. I have a friend who actually paints old furniture and turns it into something new and wonderful. I have to share this with her!