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Analysis and comments on We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

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Comment 6 of 716, added on October 18th, 2005 at 12:14 AM.

I got to a drop-out school and there are so many kids who I would like to
share this with. Kids who are runnin the streets, chasing the Hood dreams,
Tryin' to be "gagstas". If they could only read this and understand that it
ain't so cool, that they have to get educated in order to truly free
themselves from the shackles of poverty. If they could really read this
poem and truly unerstand it, then they could see how foolish it is to play
up to what the world expects us to be. Stupid.

Jenifer from United States
Comment 5 of 716, added on September 30th, 2005 at 9:42 AM.

Where i'm from there are many teenagers who have dropped out of school. If
they were to read this poem they would know you need an education to live.
With out smarts you won't make it. This poem can also be an inspiration to
those who are in school now. It let's them know stay in school nothing is
in the streets.

Nayesha Garrett from United States
Comment 4 of 716, added on September 29th, 2005 at 6:41 AM.

This poem “We Real Cool” is absolutely wonderful. I believe this because
the meaning of this poem is expressed with very few words. This poem
describes the essence of ghetto life. It describes the desperate; those who
are in an extreme need of things other than money. Without really telling
you anything about these seven young men Gwendolyn Brooks tells us all
about them. This poem tells of their fears, their ambitions, and who they
think they are versus who they really are.
The poem begins with the word “We” which is the only line in the poem that
begins in this such manor, despite the fact that the word we is repeated
six more times, throughout the entirety of this poem. The “we” that I
believe is represented at the beginning is the unity that comes from being
with friends. There is no individuality. They are all in the same position.
They are all, “real cool.” However, as the poem progresses the repeated
"We" is seen not at the beginning but, at the end of each line. This
simultaneously displays a certain aspect that was not seen in the first
line. It shows a certain bluster and a distinct uncertainty about the
groups identity or even, as an example of protesting too much, whether
there's a group identity at all. Who is this “We” that they are so
insistent about? Repeated as it is, the “We” gets smaller and smaller--the
poet has in fact said that the "we" is supposed to be read in a small and
uncertain way, thus the reason for the unpunctuated "we" at the end of each
line. That word becomes sort of a question as well as a refrain. The unity
that was seen in the beginning becomes less and less apparent as the poem
Brooks continues the poem, saying, “We / Left school.” Making even more
apparent the hopelessness of this scenario. Brooks not only arranges the
wording in this poem to show a desperate need, but she speaks of one as
well. The fact that these seven young men have no education shows exactly
how bleak their future is or is going to be. It is also here that the unity
of this group begins to fade. As the poem closes Brooks writes, “We / Die
soon.” I believe this is the perfect closing to a poem about having a false
since of unity, about the wrong path, and ghetto life in general. You come
into the world alone and you are sure to die alone.

Comment 3 of 716, added on September 26th, 2005 at 7:36 AM.

this is a nice poem its very simple

mikayla from United States
Comment 2 of 716, added on April 30th, 2005 at 11:40 PM.

this poem really speaks to me... it is quite short, but it makes up for
that through depth...

cris rodriquez from United States
Comment 1 of 716, added on March 7th, 2005 at 3:48 PM.

My daughter, a seventh-grader, needed me to print a poem for a class
assignment, and I remembered this one, long a favorite of mine. It's
short, but succinct. The imagery speaks of youth, posturing and
belligerent, yet fatalistic about the ultimate outcome. The use of
alliteration allows a quick build to the climax. Powerful poem, standing
with few in it's brevity.

Jeff Sigmon from United States

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Information about We Real Cool

Poet: Gwendolyn Brooks
Poem: We Real Cool
Added: Feb 21 2003
Viewed: 2326 times
Poem of the Day: Mar 25 2013

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