Michelle Obama is having a poetry night. But it's not going to be one of those pansy-ass tea-sipping affairs like Laura Bush used to have, where everyone is forced to read Emily Dickinson. No, the First Lady's poetry night will be hardcore.
Or, so, at least, some of her detractors are saying. Obama has invited the rapper Common to attend the White House poetry reading, scheduled for tomorrow night. Critics have pointed out that, in the past, Common has penned lyrics about shooting police officers and made at least one reference to "burning" then-President George Bush.
Website The Daily Caller has laid one of Common's raps next to an Emily Dickinson poem, in the hopes that we'll see how egregious a mistake Michelle has made. The unintended effect of which, of course, was to make me realize how boring Emily Dickinson is. In seriousness, however, anyone even remotely familiar with Common's work will know that he doesn't rap about bling and murder-for-fun. In fact, he criticizes it, while rapping about stuff like civil liberties and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
There will be workshops for children in the afternoon, followed by performances in the night. Common will be joined by Rita Dove and Billy Collins. Michelle Obama was too busy doing one-armed pushups with her daughters on the White House lawn to be reached for comment.