If Gwendolyn Brooks had written this poem in standard English, the first line would read ''We are really cool. Overall, the speaker thinks his lifestyle is ''cool,'' but the poet doesn't. Here, ''jazz,'' a noun, is used as a verb. Rather, the thought continues into the next stanza. We / Left school.
The poem is from the perspective of a group of seven pool players, and it’s about living fast and dying young.
This poem brings with it a kind of ambiguity - the lifestyle of these players is questionable to say the least. Anti-establishment?
The poem is not too long to induce monotony. I chose to read a poem written by Gwendolyn Brooks, titled “We Real Cool”. We Lurk late. SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL. This, as the last line of the poem, harshly discontinues the lilting alliteration and rhyming schemes. The poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks can be considered a form of sarcastic personal commentary wherein it showcases the “cool” aspect (i.e. Quiz & Worksheet - What Makes People Happy? 1. Apparently, the young men revel in socially-unacceptable, or deviant behaviors.
cheap) gin, is overshadowed by a sudden awareness of mortality and death (recalling the low life expectancy of young men among ‘black’ communities in many poorer areas of the United States – the reference to ‘lurk[ing] late’ reveals that these teenagers are part of a gang, thus increasing their chances of an early death), as ‘die soon’ concludes the poem in a darker contrast to the carefree and affirmative opening of the poem (‘we real cool’). She seems to think he's going nowhere fast. It’s also written in a seemingly “street kid” dialect, and the grammar is incorrect on purpose, to try to emulate a certain group of people. Scarlett has a Ph.D. in English and has taught literature and composition for both high school and college. ... Left school. What Is Jazz?
Are they foul mouthing, undermining the christian faith? We This is a group of outsiders who prefer pool to school, dropping out to serious study. Not sure what college you want to attend yet?
Despite the poem's brash tone, it ends ironically in that the poet's voice comes back in and contradicts the young man's pride in his lifestyle. Full of monosyllables and end stops its short lines are like a thumped drum, two strong beats and a weak to follow, until the final couplet fades away into the dark, like a burnt out comet. They may be true to their own oaths and passions, they may be outsiders, not like the mass of the mainstream, but there is the notion too that they are a little pathetic. A Short Analysis of Gwendolyn Brooks’s ‘We Real Cool’. — A detailed biography of Brooks from the Poetry Foundation. - Critical analyses of the poem, Mick Jenkins Interpolates Pulitzer Prize Winner Gwendolyn Brooks On “Gwendolynn’s Apprehension”. - Biography, Books, Poetry & Accomplishments, Maya Angelou's And Still I Rise: Summary & Analysis, The Poem Richard Cory: Analysis, Theme & Meaning, Casey at the Bat: Summary, Poem Analysis & Author, The Courage That My Mother Had Lesson Plan, The Creation by James Weldon Johnson Lesson Plan, The Creation by James Weldon Johnson Summary, Robert Hayden's Those Winter Sundays: Summary & Analysis, Those Winter Sundays: Theme, Tone & Imagery, Incident in a Rose Garden: Summary & Meaning, Harlem by Langston Hughes Discussion Questions, Biological and Biomedical
We (Stanza 2, Lines 5-6) C. Sing sin. We''. We Lurk late. And when they sing sin does this mean they are going against all the religious truths they were brought up with? Following in this tradition, in ''We Real Cool'' Gwendolyn Brooks uses diction, which means ''word choice,'' and syntax, which means ''sentence structure,'' to provide insight into the street culture of young, black urban males during the late 1950s. On the other hand, the words ''lurk'' and ''strike'' have a slightly sinister cast and convey the impression that there might be a dark side to the activities or lifestyle the young man is describing. Not ‘we’ of ‘We Real Cool’, but ‘I wrote … I was … my community … I say … they were … myself, why aren’t they … I asked … I wonder … how they feel about themselves’.
I’ve taught this poem for 20 years and it still resonates. This statement itself has its own rhythm and poetry (‘they were shooting pool … why aren’t they in school’; ‘instead of asking myself … I asked myself … how they feel about themselves’) as well as its own recourse to pronouns – although not, of course, the collective first-person pronoun which is so essential to the poem itself. We Die soon. You can read ‘We Real Cool’ here before proceeding to our analysis of Brooks’s poem below.
At the end of this lesson, you will be able to analyze the poem from these angles. It has end rhyme and internal rhyme which is technically full - cool/school, sin/gin and the repetitive We; this is rhyme that binds together and holds tight, suggestive of the brotherhood of the gang. traits that make a person popular) in such a way that it reveals how “coolness” evolves into an escalating series of activities resulting in a person’s death. We / Die soon.
We After all, the poem’s collective ‘we’ seems to suggest, the reason we are bunking off school to play pool and listen to jazz and sing is precisely because we are aware of the brevity of life, or at least our lives at any rate, so we intend to eat, drink (cheap gin), and be merry before our lives, which seem to hold no great promise for us (an indirect reference to the lack of social mobility many young black Americans faced?
We real cool. The next lines are “We Lurk late. The Pool Players. Made up entirely of monosyllables and end-stops, the poem is no non-sense at all. Study.com has thousands of articles about every
The word jazz suggests flashy, eccentric, stylish, abstract - and also spirit, energy, spunk - this is the macho world the gang have entered, willingly or not. ... Left school. I wish the poem had specified what exactly “singing sin” is referring to though, because there are many possibilities.
She was named Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (now known as U.S. We / Thin gin. Here, the poet's tone seems to diverge from that of her speaker.
Late alcoholic nights out on the street seem much more preferable to dull nights in. '', or ''very cool.'' It's possible to read the poem as a warning against self-destructive behavior, and also as a celebration of people who risk their lives to challenge authority.
We Real Cool is a poem about the identity of a group of teenagers, black... We Real Cool. . "We Real Cool," illustrates the wealth of implication that the poet can achieve in a very spare poem: . Replace pool with gaming and perhaps it’s more relatable to teens. This shows that they do basically whatever they please, and they probably aren’t receiving proper guidance.
The words are listed in the order in which they appear in the poem. We Die soon. 2.
Fashionable because they're outside the mainstream? "We Real Cool" Animated Video One is light, the other dark. Notice also that the stanza does not end with a complete thought.
's' : ''}}. What is the reader to make of these pool players who seem to take pride in the fact they have left school, escaping the tedium of education, perhaps risking unemployment and the chance to earn an honest dollar?
We (Stanza 3, Lines 7-8) D. Jazz June.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.'' We real cool. We
The tone is one of defiance and stubborn allegiance to the gang.
''We Real Cool'' begins by identifying the poem's subject as ''The Pool Players. (Stanza 4, Lines 9-10) 5.
Gwendolyn Brooks once said that she used the break in thought to create a hesitation that represents the boy's lack of total confidence in his cocky, self-assurance.
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— An animated video from the Poetry Foundation and Manual Cinema imagines how Brooks wrote "We Real Cool.". We
So we get cool/school, late/straight, sin/gin, June/soon. Get the entire guide to “We Real Cool” as a printable PDF.
... We Real Cool is skeletal in form yet has plenty of muscle. Seven at the Golden Shovel. Once you've made your choice, we'll ask you for a few words to inspire your poem. What is the effect of the repetition of the word “we” throughout the poem? Create your account, Already registered?
study But as Brooks makes clear here, rather than pass judgement on the boys, she tried to get into their minds, and ‘I’ and ‘they’ dissolve into ‘we’ in the poem, and ‘we’ concludes each line of the poem proper until we arrive at the very last line. Left school. We.
Here, the speaker brags about staying out late, presumably after a day of skipping school, or having dropped out altogether. We'll them use our extensive word lists to write a poem inspired by your input. Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem. This can be interpreted many different ways. Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community.
We real cool. Regarding syntax, Brooks often leaves words out of a statement, and writes enjambed lines as well.
Log in here for access. The lines after that are “We Sing sin. Lurk late.
It imagines these teenagers as rebels who proudly defy convention and authority—and who will likely pay for their behavior with their lives. ‘We Real Cool’ gives them a voice – and in doing so, reflects the new phenomenon of the 1950s: the teenager. In the last analysis, although the tone and voice of ‘We Real Cool’ seems triumphant and self-assured, the teenagers’ collective statements mask a darker and more negative story, involving the many young black Americans who had left school for the life of gang warfare, with no jobs and no qualifications.
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