We Real Cool
We Real Cool English 125 We Real Cool In this paper the topic that will be written about is the poem entitled “We Real Cool”. This poem was written in 1960 by a woman named Gwendolyn Brooks. In this paper three topics have been selected so that this poem will be able to be analyzed. With each element, it will de discussed how those elements affected and interested me while reading. The three elements that have been written about are form, language, and content. Form, in poetry, can be understood as the physical structure of the poem: the length of the lines, their rhythms, their system of rhymes and repetition (The Poetry Archive, 2005-2010).
Form is the technical word for the look and sound of language (Kwikguide, 2009). In a poem, form is largely what separates itself from other types of literary works. Poetry is easily distinguishable from a short story or a play by the arrangement the author chooses to organize his or her thoughts. Words contain meaning this is their content. (Kwikguide, 2009). The content of a poem is essentially the subject matter and conveys the scene, an event, or even a feeling. Language in poetry is defined as something spoken from the heart.
These three elements come together to express a specific sentiment from the author, but more importantly, to evoke an emotional response from its reader. The first element that will be discussed is the language of the poem. Gwendolyn uses two classic language elements of poetry, rhyme and alliteration. Rhyme gives this poem its flow and rhythm. Brooks uses very simple rhymes. “We real cool. We left school” is one of four straightforward rhymes she employs. Alliteration provides the poem a particular sound. “Lurk late” and “Jazz June” are examples of the repetition of initial sounds used.
The language that has been chosen in this poem is very interesting. Perhaps she uses these simplistic elements to connect with many different types of readers, particularly those who would not normally enjoy poetry. Many readers have become quite fond of this poem along with all of her other poems and work. JASPERS argues that poetry is a primary form of language; consequently, philosophy, too, is first expressed in poetry (Heidegger, 1971). The next component that will be examined is content. The author is describing a scene of a local pool hall, the Golden Shovel.
She speaks specifically of seven people that are playing pool. We can deduce that they are likely fairly young looking from the line “we left school”. It can also be assumed that these seven are a bit mischievous because they “Sing sin”. This may have been a familiar scene in those days, and the author is uses simple rhymes and common language to punctuate that fact. The author leads us to believe that because of their choice to drop out of school, they will “die soon”. The poem provides a small glimpse of the thoughts that rush into the mind when seeing a group of kids playing pool when they ought to be in school.
This paper will scrutinize form last because it is quite possibly the most important element in this particular poem. My favorite part of the poem is the placement of “We” at the end of each measure. The “We”—you’re supposed to stop after the “We” and think about their validity, and of course there’s no way for you to tell whether it should be said softly or not, a lot of people say it sounds a lot better softly because they want it to represent their basic uncertainty, which they don’t bother to question every day, of course (Brooks, 1970) The WEs in “We Real Cool” are tiny, wispy, weakly argumentative “Kilroy-is-here” announcements.
The boys have no accented sense of themselves, yet they are aware of a semi-defined personal importance. Say the “We” softly (Brooks, 1972). Ms. Brooks does a wonderful job using such a simple word and turning it into something incredibly powerful. The “We” is the strongest part of the poem. This poem is best classified as a lyric due to the length, and the profound thought it is describing. The first time reading this poem, in admittance this poem was a bit confusing in a few different ways. There was a lot of confusion about what the writer was trying to get across.
Initially, the thought that the poem was referring to herself was a bit transparent, so immediately the thought was that it was supposed to be a tragic poem. However, after listening to the author read the poem, and did more research, there was complete surprise. The poem was written to come off as a happy and a very positive poem. As it was mentioned previously, the most interesting part about this poem is the “We”. Gwendolyn is a very enjoyable sounding writer. She has a very strong pronunciation and the age in her voice helps with the passionate sound of the reading.