Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Common People

So, Obama had a Poetry Night at the White House. Cool. And he invited a rapper. Hm, ok...appealing to the young folks, I get it. Since then, we have all heard (over and over) about what a terrible travesty it was to have Common in the White House. What's shocking is not that hate-mongering folks decided to make this an issue, or that they are blissfully unaware of how offensive their taking offense is, but that this issue is NOT GOING AWAY. I mean, really, Poetry Night at the White House is a huge scandal? Common!

Ok, the bad puns are out of my system. But I'm still wondering if politicos just hate the idea of rappers in their hallowed halls, or if they would have found something to disparage about any other visiting poets Obama would have chosen. Consider the following gallery of rogues:

William Shakespeare

The Bard had this to say about women...
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

Robert Frost
This guy was obviously a trespasser...

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Gwendolyn Brooks
Encouraging juvenile delinquency...

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight...

Charles Baudelaire
And advocating substance abuse...shocking...

You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it—it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

So, can the pundits and talk show hosts really say that these famous poets are any better, morally, than a rapper? Especially one who has this to say about the ladies in his life:

One mother, one sister, one daughter, one wife
Once lost in the darkness; blessed by sunlight
Once blind to the bounties of livin’ – Lord, surround me with four women
To symbolize life;

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Big Giveaway, Big Wins

So, I had this great idea about how to choose the winners of my Big Poetry Giveaway...imagine numbered dog biscuits strewn across the floor, winners chosen by which one George eats first. Amazing, right? I was going to take pictures and document the whole, crazy process. It was going to be so cool.

Alas, that didn't happen. I woke up yesterday, went to work like usual, signed in at my desktop and realized that, yikes, it was the 2nd and I hadn't picked winners! So boring old numbers went into a boring old cardboard box. So sad.

But the good news: two winners were (finally) chosen. Congratulations to Big Nine 7, who gets a copy of A Classic Game of Murder, and Sandy Longhorn, who will receive Mary Oliver's fabulous American Primitive. Thank you, everyone who stopped by and entered. I hope you visit again soon.

By the way, Sandy is now giving all proceeds of her poetry collection Blood Almanac, to tornado disaster relief. Visit her site for more information.

And if you are feeling those post-NPM-blues, consider participating in Deborah Ager's poetic recipe swap.