Maybe being a professional poet isn't a romantic escape from the drudgery of work and intellectual boredom. Being the Poet Laureate of the United States is kind of a pain in the ass—full of events and obligations, you're lucky to find time to write. But being Britain's Poet Laureate is even worse: the current one, Andrew Motion, is counting the days 'til his term is up next year because he's miserable:

"The Queen "never gives me an opinion on my work for her." His assignments have included composing a poem to mark the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's diamond wedding anniversary and a modern verse for Prince William's 21st birthday. The 55-year-old said the job has been "very, very damaging to my work". "I dried up completely about five years ago and can't write anything except to commission."