Reading Responses to “We Real Cool”
Dashonda N. Rojas
Instructor Loretta Crosson
The poem “We Real Cool” has a powerful message behind it, Brooks talks about the essence of troubled teenagers who will eventually die if they continue the lifestyle of the streets. The teenagers in the poem are obviously not keen on going to school. Therefore, they skip and find their way to a pool facility to enjoy themselves and not to care about their education. Since the young men are not worried about going to school and rather have fun, sing, drink, play pool they end up being living in the streets.
“We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.” (Brooks, 1960/1987)
The tone of the poem is very upbeat; however, it changes dramatically at the end of it. Brooks implies that street people, which the young men in the poem are obviously street people because they are skipping school and playing pool, will eventually die soon.
Although the poem was written in 1960, young men and women skip school today as well, so it has a lot in common in today's world. Brooks does a great job with the poem, it's monosyllabic and a eight-line structure. The poem is to the point and blunt.
Basically the poem “We Real Cool” is about young women and men who have no education and who are living a carefree lifestyle with street life, and who will most likely end up dead.
Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.