Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 5


Happy Day 5 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!

For National Poetry Month 2022, I will share a daily poem inspired by a popular proverb. Dictionary.com 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.

And now, today's poem!

Students - Today's proverb - A picture is worth a thousand words - is interpreted to mean that a picture can often show us what it would take many many words to show. Have you ever looked at a picture, a photograph, a piece of art, or another image as worth many words, difficult to explain in words but very clear as its visual self? Today's proverb is about this, and it is a type of poem called a triolet.

A triolet is an eight-line poem with a special rhyming pattern that goes like this: ABaAabAB. This means that lines 1, 4, and 7 are the same exact words so of course they rhyme with each other. Lines 2 and 8 are the same exact words, so of course they rhyme with each other, and line 6 rhymes with them. Lines 3 and 5 rhyme with lines 1, 4, and 7.  You can test this all in the poem above.

This was not the first triolet I wrote to go with this proverb. My first one is below. After I wrote it, I thought it needed a second stanza, so I wrote the triolet above. Then I decided that "But We Try" should stand alone. So now it does.

A piece of art stands in the square.
Words spill out of every mouth.
One wrote a book. One wrote a prayer.
A piece of art stands in the squares.
Sometimes someone will simply stare.
Folks speak of it from North to South.
A piece of art stands in the square.
Words spill out of every mouth.

Know that sometimes one less-good poem can hold your hand on the way to writing a more-good poem. Trust your writing and your thinking. You never know which path will need to which next path. And poems are, after all, only paths.

One more thing. Check out the title of today's poem. It seems kind of mysterious until you read the whole poem, and once you do, you realize that it is really a continuation of lines 1, 4, and 7. We may not be able to explain all art and images in words...but we do try.

Teacher Friends - if you wish to see more of this type of poem, I pinned a few other triolets on Pinterest

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

When one door closes, another opens.

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 6!


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1 comment:

  1. Love the poem, but mostly love the title and the way it works with the poem! I'm inspired to write a triolet now!!