The idea has haunted me since seeing Henry Fool, the 1997 Hal Hartley film.
As Simon begins an ascent to the dizzying heights of Nobel Prize-winning poet, Henry sinks to a life of drinking in low-life bars as his own attempts at fame result in rejection, even by Simon's publisher who once employed Henry.
I particularly like the fact that the great American poem comes hand in hand with great American success. (And the film also has plenty to say about the arbitrariness of publication - amongst other things.)
What is your great [insert your nationality here] poem?