We Real Cool, Poetry Explanation

1006 words 5 pages




We Real Cool: Poetry Explication

“We Real Cool” is a poem written by Gwendolyn Brooks in 1959, and published in her book The Bean Eaters (We Real Cool, pg 1). A simple and light poem, “We Real Cool” is vague enough to allow readers to visualize their own characters and setting, but specific enough to keep a consistent rebellious image. Brook’s attitude toward the characters is undecided, as the tone is neither tragic nor victorious, but more so just balanced and neutral.

“We Real Cool” is written from the perspective of the involved fictional characters. It is as if the reader is in the presence of these characters as they introduce themselves. They speak with confidence and
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Another translation of We sing sin can also be that the group likes to listen to contemporary music, possibly singing along. In certain days of past, and even currently, music is often labeled as the “Devil’s Music” by those who choose to be prude, or overly religious. Ending this stanza is, We thin gin, an assumed reference to alcohol, something not out of the ordinary for a group of ragtag young’ins in this poem.

Wrapping up the poem, the last stanza begins with, We Jazz June. A line like this, as did the previous lines, can have multiple meanings, or possible connotation to slang of the days the poem was written. Quite possibly, the literal translation can be that this poem takes place in the summer season of June, with the Jazz portion representing the music genre, Jazz. Jazz June could also be placed intentionally at this part of the poem in order to establish the name of the group of seven, the Jazz June. An additional meaning could be that the terms Jazz June has something to do with slang of those days. The last line of this stanza and poem is, We die soon, translating to a living a fast life on edge. With a rebellious life, this can lead to a shortened life span, as one is susceptible the dangers of life when staying out late, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. On a positive side, it can also mean, life is too short, and regardless, we will all die soon, so enjoy and be free.

“We Real Cool” is a combination


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