The Academy of American Poets continues to send me appeals in the mail for more money. On November 27 I received a letter saying they’d reserved a special commemorative pen for me and would send it to me just as soon as I donated another $40 at least. As I am overrun with pens at the moment, I decided to reserve payment. The mailing also came enclosed with a William Carlos Williams poem (the ubiquitous “This Is Just To Say” poem they say was published in 1934, the year of the academy’s founding) printed on a card they tell me is 5x7, a size suitable for easy framing. How nice it is the academy cares about my home decorating needs.
Then for Christmas they sent me a postcard with a photo by Robyn Witschey embedded with two stanzas of William Carlos Williams’ “Winter Trees” poem:
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
This doesn’t feel exactly Christmasy but maybe they were trying to appear non-denominational or religiously neutral. Fair enough. I just wish they'd diversify their poets a tad on the free stuff.