Friday, April 8, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 8


Happy Day 8 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 - If it ain't broke, don't fix it - can be interpreted to mean that if something is working well, we should not change it. In fact, something might go wrong if we do. Some people disagree with the idea of this proverb, believing that it is good to go ahead and try to improve things. Many proverbs have opposites, and as they are opinionated tips for life, we are free to agree or disagree with them as we wish.

When I started drafting, my mind naturally went to mechanics (fix-it people) and then I started writing about someone dying his hair and changing and changing the color until his hair fell out. Then I decided that the person should be a dog instead. And the rest of the story poem wrote itself. 

You will notice that this poem is written in rhyming couplets. Two lines in each stanza rhyme with each other.

Part of me wonders if I got the idea for Dog's friend's comment in stanza one from Harry Chapin's song Flowers Are Red. Maybe I did. Maybe I didn't. Maybe it came from Snoopy's doghouse. If I had a doghouse, I do think it would be sky-colored.

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

The early bird gets the worm.

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. It has been a joy to read the proverb poems that folks have shared, and I thank you for letting me peek into your interesting brains, just as you peek into mine!

Janice is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup at Salt City Verse with an interview of the talented and humble David Elliot, all about his forthcoming book AT THE POND. Please know that all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship. 

Maybe see you tomorrow for Pick a Proverb, Day 9!


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. It is often hard to choose when someone makes a comment for change. You're shown the "think again" story beautifully, Amy. Love that "Twilight" blue!

  2. I am enjoying reading these on Instagram

  3. As always, Amy, your commentary enriches the poem. I love this, and for me it goes with THE BIG ORANGE SPLOT and MR.PINE'S PURPLE HOUSE, showing a different perspective on the opinions of friends ("not a good one"). You are having fun and it shows!

  4. What a wonderful story that can be heard differently depending on age and experience...I talk about this with middle schoolers. I talk about how stories for "littles" can mean so much more and different with a few years of maturity. I love this one!

  5. That one word line does such powerful work. You are one of my best Poetry Teachers!

  6. I always love stopping by here! Not only the lesson from the proverb, but also a lesson on just being ourselves! Twilight blue sounds like a wonderful color!

  7. I love the story in this poem. What a wonderful take on this proverb. Thanks for sharing these poems with us today!

  8. Yes, why indeed would you want to sleep under red and not blue? I love proverbs and will keep your list to inspire me.