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We Real Cool Analysis

Author: Poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks Type: Poetry Views: 4595

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We real cool. We

Left School. WeLurk late. We

Strike straight. WeSing sin. We

Thin gin. WeJazz June. We

Die soon.


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| Posted on 2017-03-24 | by a guest

.: Critique By Talha Ahmed :.

Emotions run high and attitudes big when a child becomes a teenager. It is there and then when one realizes that one doesn't really have to follow all the rules and regulations that are anchoring him down. It is then when one discovers amongst many others, the art of being "cool" and the thrills that come with it. Unlike a child, a teenager chooses what he wants to believe and discredits what s/he deems inapplicable to him. What a teenager considers cool usually reflects the likes of his friends. It can be safely assumed that a group of teenage friends will usually have the same opinion about most things. And what one thinks as being "cool" is also "cool" to the other one. Such situations create a state of mind where a certain group can consider themselves "too cool for school". Such a group of young men is soulfully portrayed by Gwendolyn Brooks in her poem "We Real Cool".
I chose this poem because it had a certain impact on me. Although I hadn't read it before I felt as if I had gone through exactly the same emotions and images that the poem creates. I felt strangely familiar to the poem. And It didn't take me long to figure out that I had, on many occasions, been in a "real cool" state of mind. It was in times when I was surrounded by my friends, fully aware that whatever I was doing could get me into trouble. I remember times past when I "lurked late" with friends and thinking back I can still sense the feelings I had; I felt as if I was at the top of the world, as if I could do anything and no one could stop me. This aspect of teenage psychology is also portrayed here in the poem.
Gwendolyn Brooks wrote this poem after seeing a group of boys shooting pool while passing by a pool hall in her community during school time. This is how she explained this experience "Instead of asking myself why arenít they at school I wondered how they felt about themselves and just perhaps they might have considered themselves contemptuous of the establishment or at least they wanted to feel that they were contemptuous of the establishment, might wanna thumb their noses at the establishment". The establishment that Brooks is referring to here is the boys' school. Keeping the poem and Brook's comments in perspective, the poem can be interpreted. However, I believe that there is more than one meaning to each verse, which I will later discuss.
The first thing that one notices about the poem is that every verse starts with the word "We". According to Brooks, "you're supposed to stop after the "We" and think about their validity." When one reads the poem again, this time with the "we" said softly, one will realize that the focus of the verses will relocate from the "we" to the verb and the adjective respectively. This changes the focal point of the verses and brings new light to the meaning. Dropping the "we" means that the reader only pays attention to the actions of the group of boys. This links back to what was mentioned earlier, that when teenagers are in a group they tend to have the same thoughts and feelings about a particular subject. By dropping out the "we" Brooks is suggesting that the teenagers, in a superior state of mind, don't think of themselves as individuals but rather a "real cool" group of teenagers doing what they like. As a result of the assumingly right, but actually 'wrong' decisions the boys make in their youth, they never reach their full potential and suffer throughout their lives, ending up "die[i

| Posted on 2008-03-30 | by a guest

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