Poets Answer another Age-Old Question: How Many Poets Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb? 2: Elizabeth Bishop

Poets Answer another Age-Old Question

How Many Poets Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?

Elizabeth bishop

The art of changing isn’t hard to master
unless you lose the bulb, it ends up smashed, or
some other problem leads to light disaster.

Poetry Crisis Valentines 2022

Poetry Crisis Valentines 2022

Alexander Pope
Violets are blue,
roses are red,
let us rush in
where angels won’t tread.

Jenny Joseph
Roses are red,
violets are blue.
When I’m an old woman
I’ll dress like that too.

Elizabeth Bishop
Roses are found
on vines interlacing.
It’s not hard to master
the art of misplacing.

Gregory Corso
Exlposives are deadly,
violence is loud.
Can I get you a shroud?

Mark Strand
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
air is an obstacle
that we walk through.

Alberto Rios
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
the border is what
separates me from you.

James W. Hall
Woses aww wed,
but what makes me blue
Aww you SPIDERMAN too?

Maya Angelou
Roses are red,
violets are blue,
still I rise. Can I get
a rise out of you?

Elizabeth Bishop calls the Poetry Crisis Line

Happy 110th birthday to Elizabeth Bishop!

From “The Map” by Elizabeth Bishop

MARIA VON TRAPP (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, Maria speaking. What is your emergency?
ELIZABETH BISHOP (caller): Mapped waters are more quiet than the land is.
MARIA: Yes. Land can be loud. (singing) The hills are alive, so stay on the flatlands.

KIM: Maria is quite a problem solver.
ROSIE: Yeah. How do you solve a problem like her?


Poets Answer an Age-Old Question: Why did the chicken cross the road? (part 2)

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Allen Ginsberg

I saw the best hens of my generation destroyed by butchers, roasted, rotisserie-basted,
wandering across the street at dawn looking for a bawdy cock.


Elizabeth Bishop

The art of crossing isn’t hard to master–
when asphalt’s hot, it helps if you cross faster.

Gertrude Stein

The road
is a road
is a road
is a road
to cross
like a boss
and eat moss.


Click here for part 1 (featuring Dickinson, Whitman, and Shakespeare).

Elizabeth Bishop calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: The art of losing isn’t hard to master;

COUNSELOR: But would you want to?

CALLER: so many things seem filled with the intent / to be lost

COUNSELOR: So it’s conceptual art? Or more like, a gallery display of missing things?

CALLER: that

COUNSELOR: Wait—would that also be conceptual art?

CALLER: their loss is no disaster.

COUNSELOR: I’ve never been into conceptual art either.

CALLER: Lose something every day.

COUNSELOR: So do you start with socks and cell phones, and work your way up to extra pounds or a guy in 10 days?

CALLER: Accept the fluster

COUNSELOR: You lost a fluster?

CALLER: of lost door keys,

COUNSELOR: Now I’ve lost my train of thought.

CALLER: the hour badly spent.

COUNSELOR: Were you looking for your fluster? What is a fluster, anyway? Some sort of petticoat?

CALLER: The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

COUNSELOR: So you said.

CALLER: Then practice

COUNSELOR: How many hours a week do you practice losing? Or do you mean like practicing a–

CALLER: losing

COUNSELOR: –religion?

CALLER: farther,

COUNSELOR: Did you look in the corner? Maybe in the spotlight?

CALLER: losing faster:

COUNSELOR: If you lose too fast, it can be hard to keep it off. That’s why those fad diets, like

CALLER: places,

COUNSELOR: South Beach

CALLER: and names,


CALLER: and where it was

COUNSELOR: Where what was? The weight?

CALLER: you meant / to travel.

COUNSELOR: Uh, from my hips to my chest?

CALLER: None of these will bring disaster.

COUNSELOR: I hope not.

CALLER: I lost my mother’s watch.

COUNSELOR: Was she watching? When you lost her watch?

CALLER: And look!

COUNSELOR: So she watched you lose her watch, and it was still lost?

CALLER: my last,

COUNSELOR: So you’re retiring?

CALLER: or / next-to-last,

COUNSELOR: Or thinking of it? It can be hard to quit something you’ve put so much time into.


COUNSELOR: So what’s the biggest thing you ever lost?

CALLER: three loved houses

COUNSELOR: That’s impressive. And you don’t know where they gone?

CALLER: went.

COUNSELOR: Sorry—I was excited. Guess I lost my grammar.

CALLER: The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

COUNSELOR: So you say, but I’m impressed. I mean, you can’t just lose three houses in the washing machine.

CALLER: I lost two cities,

COUNSELOR: What, like Atlantis?

CALLER: lovely ones.

COUNSELOR: Like, um, Yerevan?


COUNSELOR: Did you try looking behind the foothills?

CALLER: vaster,

COUNSELOR: Behind the mountains?

CALLER: some realms

COUNSELOR: Behind countries?

CALLER: I owned,

COUNSELOR: You owned your own realms and you lost them? How big were these realms? Like the space between–

CALLER: two rivers,

COUNSELOR: Right. And how long were the rivers? A couple of miles?

CALLER: a continent.

COUNSELOR: Now that takes talent. And no one’s heard of it? Did the press come to interview you?

CALLER: I miss them,

COUNSELOR: And they don’t come back?


COUNSELOR: So how do you lose a realm, anyway? Earthquake? Tsunami?

CALLER: it wasn’t a disaster.

COUNSELOR: How, then?

CALLER: —Even losing you

COUNSELOR: What? I’m still here.

CALLER: (the joking voice,

COUNSELOR: No, I take you seriously, I’m just blown away.

CALLER: a gesture / I love)

COUNSELOR: So if you love it so much, why are you thinking of giving it up?

CALLER: I shan’t have lied.

COUNSELOR: I didn’t say you had. It’s just—

CALLER: It’s evident

COUNSELOR: But if it’s evident, how is it lost? Is it, like, hiding in plain sight?

CALLER: the art of losing’s not too hard to master

COUNSELOR: Are you sure it doesn’t just seem that way to you?

CALLER: though it may look like

COUNSELOR: Exactly! It seems easy to you, but that may be because it’s easy for you.

CALLER: (Write it!)

COUNSELOR: Write what? Like a poem?

CALLER: like disaster.

COUNSELOR: So, a screenplay? Like Dante’s Peak? Or…um… Sharknado?



Read the original here.