Thursday, April 7, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 7


Happy Day 7 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. 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!

Each day of April, I will share a proverb, the meaning of the proverb, and a poem inspired by that proverb. 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 - Necessity is the mother of invention - illustrates the idea that if you need'll come up with a way to get it. I thought about many possible ideas for this poem, but since the proverb talks about a mother and a child...I needed to run with that concept. 

It was interesting to create another poem-proverb-sized setting and world, to create a cottage, a yard and special drink for these two family members. My family really does have a tulip tree in our yard (I didn't want to just write tree), and I do like to drink tea (yes, sometimes mint, with the plant just stuffed into a jar full of boiling water). And a purple cottage...why not? When you write, always ask yourself, "Can I be more specific here? Tulip tree instead of tree.

Notice that this poem is a little bit of story and then an ending with a wee bit of advice for the reader. Look at your poems. Would any of them work with an advice-ending?

The word necessity got me running off to the city with rhyming words: tea, tree, plea, see, key guarantee. Such fun!

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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 8!


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  1. My class and I are LOVING this project! We are writing about proverbs every day and we decided to turn this into a publishing event at the end of the month! Already, we are getting some beautiful poems, reflections and stories about each proverb! So grateful you came up with this project and that my 2nd graders and I can enjoy it!

  2. This: "When you have a need / it can be difficult to see / a clear and smart solution." I love knowing these two are up in a tulip tree drinking mint tea and they might answer my plea! Maybe!