My wife told me I shouldn't make a big thing about not having been asked to deliver the poem at Bill Clinton's Inauguration next week. She said I was beginning to remind her of Newt Gingrich talking about having to get off Air Force One through the rear door. "Nobody likes a whiner," she said.

"I'm not making a big thing," I said. "Let's just say that I know how Richard Holbrooke felt when Madeleine Albright was named Secretary of State."

There is no evidence, I'll admit, that I was under consideration for Inaugural poet in the first place. The White...

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