Here’s an opportunity to relive your high-school poetry classes.
First Lady Michelle Obama has scheduled a poetry evening for Wednesday, and she’s invited several poets, including a successful poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., AKA “Common.” However, Lynn is quite controversial, in part because his poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush.
Back in 2003, First Lady Laura Bush held a poetry evening, and she invited several poets to reprise the of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman. Although none of those poets had urged violence against a president, Bush canceled the event after left-of-center poets protested and threatened to disrupt the event.
Here’s a sample of Dickinson’s work that could have been presented at Bush’s event:
I’m nobody! Who are you?I’m nobody! Who are you?Are you nobody, too?Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!They’d banish us, you know.How dreary to be somebody!How public, like a frogTo tell your name the livelong dayTo an admiring bog!
Here’s a sample of Common’s work, transcribed from a 2007 video with 837,613 viewers on YouTube. Students, please compare and contrast the two poems. You’ll get extra credit for counting the death threats. There is no extra credit for identifying errors. By the way, ‘Uzi’ is slang for a compact machine gun:
A Letter to the LawDem boy wanna talk… [indistinguishable]Whatcha gon do if ya got one gun?I sing a song for the hero unsungwith faces on the mural of the revolutionNo looking back cos’ in back is what’s doneTell the preacher, god got more than one sonTell the law, my Uzi weighs a tonI walk like a warrior,from them I won’t runOn the streets, they try to beat us like a drumIn Cincinnati, another brother hungA guinea won’t see the sunThey want us to hold justicebut you handed me noneThe same they did to Kobe and Michael Jacksonmake them the main attractionTurn around and attack themBlack gem in the roughYou’re rugged enoughUse your mind and nine-power, get the government touchThem boys chat-chat on how him pop gunI got the black strap to make the cops runThey watching me, I’m watching themThem dick boys got a lock of cock in themMy people on the block got a lot of pok* in themand when we roll togetherwe be rocking them to sleepNo time for that, because there’s things to be donefrom project buildingSeeing a fiend being hungWith that happening, why they messing with Saddam?Burn a Bush cos’ for peace he no push no buttonKilling over oil and greaseno weapons of destructionHow can we follow a leader when this a corrupt oneThe government’s a g-unit and they might buck young black peopleBlack people In the urban area oneI hold up a peace sign, but I carry a gun.Peace, ya’ll.”
The First Lady’s office did not return a call from TheDC.
*Commenter notes this may be “Pac,” as in Tupac Shakur
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/09/burn-a-bush-michelle-obama-invites-rapper-common-to-a-poetry-reading/#ixzz1LxV3Wj4h