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Elizabeth Alexander recites a poem as Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. So far, few have chosen to buy the poem.
updated 2/20/2009 11:02:34 AM ET 2009-02-20T16:02:34

Millions watched Elizabeth Alexander read a poem last month at President Barack Obama's inauguration. But few, so far, have wanted to buy it.

Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 75 percent of sales, says Alexander's "Praise Song for the Day: A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration" has sold just 6,000 copies so far.

The poem was published Feb. 6 as a paperback by Graywolf Press with an announced first printing of 100,000 copies.

The inaugural reading by Alexander, a highly regarded poet, apparently lacked the spark of predecessor Maya Angelou, whose "On the Pulse of the Morning" — read at President Bill Clinton's 1993 inaugural — became a million seller.

Alexander was just the fourth inaugural poet, following Robert Frost, Angelou and Miller Williams.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: First 100 days

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  1. President Barack Obama takes the oath as the 44th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20. Obama's wife, Michelle, holds Abraham Lincoln's bible as daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, watch. Tens of thousands gathered on the National Mall in Washington to witness the swearing in of America's first African-American president. (Chuck Kennedy / Pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. During his first full day in office on Jan. 21, President Obama makes calls to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Jordan’s King Abdullah, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Pete Souza / The White House) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. President Obama, center, is applauded by Vice President Joe Biden and a group of retired military officers in the Oval Office on Jan. 22, moments after he signed the third of four executive orders -- this one ordering the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility closed. (Matthew Cavanaugh / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Personal photographs of the Obama family adorn the Oval Office of the White House. Obama says the best part about being president is the extra time he gets to spend with his daughters. "It's the best deal of this whole thing,” Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer. "It turns out I’ve got this nice home office...I can help them with their homework. I can tuck them in. If I’ve gotta go back to the office, I can." (Larry Downing / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. President Obama fiddles with his BlackBerry as he returns to the White House on Jan. 29 after visiting the Sidwell Friends School in Bethesda, Maryland for a presentation in his daughter Sasha's class. The president was adamant about continuing to use a BlackBerry, which has Internet and e-mail access, despite security concerns. It's presumed that the e-mails will be subject to the Presidential Records Act, a law that requires the National Archives to preserve White House correspondence. (Ron Sachs / Pool via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. President Obama walks into the East Room of the White House with Lilly Ledbetter on Jan. 29, moments ahead of signing legislation that bears her name. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act expands workers’ rights to sue for discrimination. Ledbetter sued her employer when she discovered that after 19 years on the job, she was the lowest-paid supervisor at her tire factory. (Jim Bourg / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. President Obama takes part in a town hall meeting at Concord Community High School in Elkhart, Ind., on Feb. 9. Obama told the audience, still reeling from recession-related job losses, "Doing nothing is not an option." (Jim Young / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, center, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, right, and adviser Phil Schiliro, left, meet ahead of a presidential news conference at the White House on Feb. 9. With the nation falling deeper into a recession, Obama took to the prime-time airwaves to defend his stimulus program against Republican criticism. (Evan Vucci / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. President Obama answers a question during his first prime-time press conference at the White House on Feb. 9. Obama said his administration inherited a deficit of more than $1 trillion along with "the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression." He added, "That is a deficit that could turn a crisis into a catastrophe. And I refuse to let that happen." (Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Executives from the financial institutions that received TARP funds testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 11. From left are Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan Chase CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon, The Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert P. Kelly, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, and State Street Corporation CEO and Chairman Ronald Logue. "I urge you going forward to be ungrudgingly cooperative," said Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the panel, as the hearing opened. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., is trailed by reporters on Feb. 12 after he abruptly withdrew as the president's nominee for commerce secretary. Gregg cited "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama's handling of the economic stimulus package. Gregg was just one problematic nomination. Several Obama choices for top positions have dealt with tax problems, including the president's first pick for HHS secretary, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle. His second pick, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, admitted to a tax mistake and is awaiting confirmation. Nancy Killefer also faced tax questions and withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, backed by members of the Democratic leadership team, answers questions from the news media on Feb. 13. The press conference follows House approval of President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus plan. The legislation passed, 246-183, with no Republican support. (Matthew Cavanaugh / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. President Obama meets with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Feb. 19. On his first foreign trip as president, Obama was cheered by crowds in the snowy Canadian capital and responded by declaring “I love this country” at a news conference. (Tom Hanson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. President Obama is joined by first lady Michelle Obama at a black-tie White House dinner for the nation's governors in the State Dining Room on Feb. 22. The first lady wore a charcoal Peter Soronen gown and a Tom Binns necklace. (Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., listens alongside Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., during the opening of President Obama's fiscal responsibility summit on Feb. 23. (Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Eager Marines await the arrival of President Obama at North Carolina's Camp Lejuene on Feb. 27. "Let me say this as plainly as I can: by Aug. 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end," he said during a speech on the base. "As we carry out this drawdown, my highest priority will be the safety and security of our troops and civilians in Iraq," added Obama. (Gerry Broome / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. At the end of his seventh week in office, President Obama signs an executive order on stem cell research on March 9, reversing a Bush-era directive. While the order clears the way for a significant increase in federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research, the president promised no scientific data will be "distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda." (Chris Kleponis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. President Obama walks with White House senior adviser David Axelrod after speaking at a town hall meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif., on March 18. "Change doesn't happen overnight," Obama said during the event, seeming to acknowledge the difficulty in translating campaign pledges into actual policy. (Gerald Herbert / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Code Pink protesters hold signs as Edward Liddy, chairman and CEO of AIG, prepares to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on March 18. Hired after AIG accepted billions of dollars in aid from the federal government, Liddy faced intense scrutiny over $165 million in bonuses paid to company employees. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. President Obama comments on the stimulus package and AIG's corporate bonuses on the South Lawn of the White House on March 18. "As we work toward getting ourselves out of the recession, I hope that Wall Street and the marketplace doesn't think that we can return to business as usual," he said. "The buck stops with me," Obama added. (Jim Young / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. President Obama discusses the economy March 19 on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Obama told Leno, "These financial industries are holding us hostage." It was the first time a sitting president was a guest on a late-night talk show. Republicans seized on his appearance as an opportunity to accuse Obama of ignoring the economy. (Larry Downing / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. An Iranian woman watches President Obama's video message addressed to the Iranian people on March 20. The message was timed to the festival of Nowruz, which means "new day" and marks the arrival of spring. "My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us," said Obama. (Vahid Salemi / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. The first lady joins students from Bancroft Elementary School during a groundbreaking ceremony on March 20 for the new White House kitchen garden. The garden will grow about 25 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including spinach, herbs, and berries. Some of the crops will be served at the White House and others donated to a local soup kitchen. (Jason Reed / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. President Obama speaks with Vice President Biden during an event commemorating Greek Independence Day at the White House on March 25. (Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. President Obama takes part in an online town hall on March 26 at the White House. The event was broadcast simultaneously over the internet and people were invited to submit questions through the White House Web site. (Ron Edmonds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. President Obama, surrounded by his national security team, announces a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan on March 27. He ordered 4,000 more military troops into Afghanistan, vowing to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the terrorist al-Qaida network in that country and neighboring Pakistan. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Surrounded by his economic team, President Obama unveils the details of his plan for the floundering automotive industry on March 30. Obama announced that the government will back new car warranties issued by both GM and Chrysler, an attempt to reassure consumers that their purchases will be protected. The president also announced a short-term infusion of cash for the firms, and said it could be the last for one or both. (Alex Wong / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. President Obama walks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown following their meeting at 10 Downing Street in London on April 1. At rear hang portraits of Queen Elizabeth I and Prince James Edward Stuart. (C. Bibby / Financial Times REA via Redux Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Michelle Obama talks with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II during a reception at Buckingham Palace in London on April 1. The first lady made such an impression on the Queen that the royal strayed slightly from protocol and briefly wrapped her arm around Obama in a rare public display of affection. (Daniel Hambury / Newsteam.co.uk via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. President Obama, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev react as they take part in a group photo at the G-20 summit on April 2 in London. Standing in the front row are Prince Saud Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Chinese President Hu Jintao, and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. At top left is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand. At top right is South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. (Stefan Rousseau / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. President Obama speaks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton aboard Air Force One on April 3 as the pair traveled to Strasbourg, France. (Pete Souza / The White House) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. President Obama, accompanied by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visits the Blue Mosque in Istanbul on April 7. In accordance with religious custom, the president and his entourage removed their shoes before entering the enormous carpeted mosque. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. National security adviser Gen. James Jones, left, and Joe Clancy of the Secret Service, right, coordinate arrival details by telephone for President Obama's visit to Baghdad aboard Air Force One on April 7. (Pete Souza / The White House) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. President Obama greets military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad on April 7 during an unscheduled stop at the conclusion of his week-long European tour. "You have given Iraq the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country," the president said. "That is an extraordinary achievement." (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. An Army Carry Team handles the transfer case of Spc. Israel Candelaria Mejias of Puerto Rico at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on April 7. The Pentagon recently changed restrictions to allow the news media to photograph the "dignified transfer" of service members' remains if the families allow it. (Mike Theiler / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. President Obama runs alongside Bo, a six-month-old male Portuguese water dog, in the White House on April 12. The dog is a gift from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who owns several Portuguese water dogs himself. "We love our Portuguese water dogs and know that the girls -- and their parents -- will love theirs, too," said Kennedy in a statement. (Pete Souza / The White House) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. President Obama shakes hands with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez April 17 at the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The Venezuelan government says Chavez, a fierce critic of the United States during President George W. Bush's tenure, told Obama, "With this same hand I greeted Bush eight years ago. I want to be your friend." U.S. officials say Obama only shook hands and smiled. (Alfonso Ocando / Miraflores Pres via EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. President Obama speaks at his first cabinet meeting, April 20, and admits his request to cut at least $100 million from agency budgets is a "drop in the bucket." The president added, "None of these things alone are going to make a difference. But cumulatively, they make an extraordinary difference because they start setting a tone." (Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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