The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
"I have a companion poem in The Sophist (1987) called 'Why I Am Not a Christian' (taking my title from Bertrand Russell’s book of the same name), which has two lines echoed in this poem: 'You always throw it down/ but you never pick it up?' Then in Girly Man (2007) I have a poem from 1988 called 'Why I Don’t Meditate': 'Mental health is probably overrated—a little anxiety/ is a great source/ for poetic composition & besides I prefer sitting/ on chairs with heavy cushions & a footstool/ if at all possible'—a poem both sophistical and sincere (a favorite combination). My concern is more What is false? than What is truth? All true poetry comes from deep fear, immobility, timidity. (I love Walter Benjamin’s essay on Hölderlin’s timidity.) This is our common ground, our temporal consanguinity (blood ties). Reality is not kind. I’d tell you in an instant, if I could."
Not for all the whiskey in heaven
Not for all the flies in Vermont
Not for all the tears in the basement
Not for a million trips to Mars
Not if you paid me in diamonds
Not if you paid me in pearls
Not if you gave me your pinky ring
Not if you gave me your curls
Not for all the fire in hell
Not for all the blue