Saturday, April 9, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 9


Happy Day 9 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.

And now, today's poem!

Students - Today's proverb - The early bird gets the worm (OR The early bird catches the worm) - illustrates the idea that if a person is first, or early to something, they are more likely to be successful. I think it is a funny proverb, and I like thinking about arriving somewhere early to be treated to a big bowl of worms. 

So, where did today's poem come from? Well, as you know, I share the proverb for the next day's poem here the day before. Both you and I have some time to let the proverb sink into our brains. Over the past 24 hours, I knew that I did not want to actually have a bird EATING a worm. But I did want a bird and a worm as characters in my poem. I considered a vegetarian bird who didn't want to eat the worm, but once I imagined bird and worm dancing together, I couldn't think about anything else. 

When I sat to write, this silly verse just poured out - from where, I don't know. Sometimes that happens. I played with different dancing words, but mostly this poem poured out whole. When you write a lot and regularly, sometimes you get a little present from the writing gods.

Regarding the title, this week I was lucky to spend time visiting two great old friends. We met each morning at 7am in the kitchen and walked to the beach together to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic ocean. So this week, 7am is an important time to me. A poem's title can be a place, a name, a time of day. You might wish to title a poem after a certain time on the clock.

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

Don't miss the forest for the trees.

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!

Maybe see you tomorrow for Pick a Proverb, Day 10!


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. hee hee hee! As you may remember, Amy, I AM an early bird and I wrote an Early Bird poem for SQUEEZE. I am so happy this one has both a clever and compassionate ending..."dance with a worm on my wing"! hee hee!

  2. I am in LOVE with Early the Bird! Dance on, Sister!

  3. Early the Bird is a fun-loving character.

  4. So fun to see all of your different takes on the proverbs. I'm surprised every morning! I love the element of surprise in this one, that it's not competitive or judgmental, but fun and playful and joyful!