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"we Real Cool" Case

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In "We Real Cool," by Gwendolyn Brooks, one can almost imagine the essence of troubled teenagers, while she is reading this poem. Her great poem is unique because it uses only a few descriptive words to describe a gang of rebellious teens. Also, the few descriptive words made this poem one of the most popular poem by Brook. Brooks employs a modern approach to the English language and her choice of slang creates a powerful jazz mood (audio). In this poem, all of the lines are very short and the sound on each stop really pops. Brooks uses a few rhymes to create an effective sound and image of the life she observes. She manages to take full control of her rhyme and encourages a morally inspiring poem with these strategies. The poem is trying to tell youngsters that dropping out of school and roaming the streets is in fact not "cool" but in actuality a dead end street.

Reading the title "We Real Cool" for the first time, one would assume that the poem is going to tell about a group of people who are fortunate and live a flamboyant lifestyle.

Brooks' selection of words shows her great talent at creating a good rhyme. The choice of words she uses creates an excellent image of rebellious teens. The words are connecting each other's, and it creates a stronger image. But we need to understand the language she is using first before we can really appreciate it. The slang people spoke back then is not the same slang we have today. Even though words meanings often change over the years, but her poem is still valid after all these years. This poem combines complexity of rhyme and a skillful selection of words. Brooks wants her poems to be heard, not just read. This poem sends a serious message to those who blow off school but it does not sound demanding.



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