Poets Answer Another Age-Old Question: Elizabeth Barrett Browning on how many poets it takes to change a light bulb


Poets Answer Another Age-Old Question

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How many poets? Let me count them, please.
One brings a ladder to attain the height
So they can reach the socket for the light.
Another climbs the ladder’s rungs with ease,
Forgetting something vital. When he sees,
He asks another, “Kind sir, if you might
Hand me the light bulb over on your right?”
So: Poets changing light bulbs work in threes.

ROBERT: Your poem ought to have more lines than these.

ELIZABETH: This is no sonnet; I’m not Portuguese.