Thursday, May 5, 2022

Homage to Pick a Proverb

Thank you, Jama, for hosting our round-up today.

Our Inklings are paying homage to someone else's April Poetry Month Project (see a round-up of them at Jama's Alphabet Soup). I really enjoyed Amy Ludwig Vanderwater's Pick a Proverb project. She is a productive poet that's for sure. 

I had ideas and drafts and pfffttttthhhfffft. They fizzled flat. I had that, uh oh...what if I have nothing to show for Friday? feeling. But, I pitched this idea. So, I can't just not show up!

Keep it simple
Don't overthink
You've got this

These are all things I was telling myself Thursday morning during my creative time. 

I started with something familiar, stars.
'hitch your wagon to a star.' 

Where did that phrase come from? Is it a proverb or an idiom?

According to ongoing RHR (Rabbit Hole Research), the phrase is an idiom referring to hitching one's fortune to another who can raise one's status.


Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, originator of this phrase in American Civilization 1862, likely meant more than glomming onto someone's coattails. He meant...

Whoa. This is a horse of a different color. This is something more like wisdom...more proverb.  

"...we are strong borrowing the might of the elements..."

Linda Mitchell 5/22

Let's go see how the other Inklings responded to May's challenge:

Mary Lee


  1. It's intriguing what you discovered via Emerson who seems to have something to say about nearly everything! I love that you found more stars, Linda!

  2. Wow. You definitely unearthed a deeper meaning for this proverb. Your RHR served you well. I have often complimented someone by saying they are a "force of nature," but I love that everyday work can done by "borrowing the might of elements." Am I wrong to believe that you are the "we" in the poem? ;-)

  3. Love this post, seeing how you progressed from vague idea to fabulous poem. The Emerson connection is awesome!! I give this post 5 stars!! :)

  4. I love your thought processes - and moments of panic. (Know that feeling, for sure!) And the gorgeous golden shovel form digs deep again. YOU are a star!

  5. What a lovely golden shovel.

  6. So much food for thought here! Finding strength from nature doing what it does -- it sounds like Emerson would have been a proponent of solar, wind, and hydropower. Have we (as a society) been giving as benevolently as nature? I would say not. I wish we were listening to Emerson more today -- thank you for bringing this RHR to our attention!

  7. Oh. Whoa. Yes. Loved seeing different takes on Emerson's words. I think you got it in "Borrowing maps of celestial trails might be naive for us made of ashes and dust"--for me speaks to the mistake I think even Emerson was making to think that it "costs us nothing." We were naive to imagine we could borrow borrow borrow, as Tabatha notes, without ever paying back. Brillian.

  8. I loved reading about your journey to this poem and considering Emerson's words from different angles. I'm also delighted that you simultaneously met the challenge and created another star poem. This is a wonderful golden shovel and your introductory words add even more depth to it. Wow! Your RHR has rewarded us all. Thanks for a great challenge and a fabulous response!

  9. Your RHR led to rich learning and a gorgeous poem, Linda! Your choice of proverb sparked a memory that the poem I shared in my high school year book contains these lines: "Take time to dream; it is hitching your wagon to a star." I love these lines: "Strong and swift we rise pulled by blazing light." We need this reminder of our energy now more than ever!

  10. I dig your golden shovel, Linda. And the process by which you arrived. Your posts/poems never disappoint. :)

  11. Linda, I am sorry that I arrived for commenting so late. I read your blog several days ago but then Mother's Day came. Your rabbit hole research paid off.I love the ending of your poem. Keep up that great research that led to such a good golden shovel.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!