Balzac wrote in a white monk's robe. Molly Peacock writes in a blue bathrobe, every day before breakfast. Thursday, she wrote a poem about creative urges and then, changing from the robe into something festive, attended a reception in her honor at the Harvard Club.

After three terms as president of the Poetry Society of America, Peacock, the author of four books of poetry, is retiring. But she will still help choose works for Poetry in Motion, the program that puts poetry on New York subways and buses.The host at the reception was John Barr, the new president of the society, the country's oldest poetry association, which has 2,500 members.