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Poetry is a literary work of art where ideas of a person and feelings are expressed in intensity. Plans are given weight by the correct choice of words and the way the poet uses different styles in writing. Poetry uses language which is felt by the poet and the audience who could be a reader or listener. When analyzing a poem, one considers the title, setting, plot, the characters, figures of speech and themes among others. However, concerning this, poem I will explore Gwendolyn Brooks' poem The Real Cool. Though the poem The Real Cool has a powerful message, it is expressed in few words. This paper analyses the poem "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks. The powerful annotations range from setting, plots, and figures of speech among other features that are present in it.
The poem is about teenagers who have dropped out of school and are trying to identify themselves as Golden Shovel by playing pool. The title We Real Cool is ironic as it represents a piece which is impressive in that it propounds an implication of carefree style of living and lack of education due to school dropout. Gwendolyn Brook writes this powerful poem to discourage school dropouts. She castigates the behavior since the dropout live expose them to world threats hence leading them to unfortunate deaths. The line number seven in the poem's subtitle implies a notion of good luck which befalls the "we" in the poem after playing the pool which to themselves is a source of their pleasure. The word golden implies the feeling of prosperity and happiness that the boys feel they are getting. Shovel a word used in the subtitle signifies a bad omen which in this case relates to death. Brooks tries to imply that people in the streets die soon than expected due to the harsh conditions in there. The young boys referred in the poem are likely street people since they have dropped out of school and will eventually face same consequences as the street people.
The poem We Real Cool is set in the late 1950s in a pool hall at the Southern part of Chicago. We tend to imagine the environment in which the poem is set as we go through it by reading. We try to figure out several tables put in place in the pool hall for playing pool. An image of a bar also comes in the mind as the poet informs us that it serves cheap gin. However, we see a radio at the corner of the bar playing traditional jazz which the boys enjoy dancing in June. We also see seven teens gathered around the tables ready for a game. The speaker of this poem is not a particular individual but a representative of a specific group. The use of the word "we" suggests that a speaker is a person meant to represent an entire group of people whose lives are commented by the poet. These teens have left school and spend most of their days in street shooting pool, taking a gin, and they stay out late every day.
Gwendolyn Brooks's poem "We Real Cool" is a short poem made of concise sentences. The poem seems odd, and one may think it has no plot since it's quite short, but upon reading it closely, a plot emerges. When the poem commences, we see the main character (s), who feels that he is "Really cool." He believes that he is fully accepted and regarded by his peers as spends his time playing pool with them. He believes this at the beginning, but later things change within the story. The character starts with playing the pool and later leaving the school. Upon leaving the school, the character opts to make poor choices which will later lead to serious outcomes. He hangs out at night drinking and singing loitering anyhow which contributes to sinning. What follows later is death which is the last activity of Brooks' poem "We Real Cool." (Brooks,line 10)
The poem employs the use of symbolism. The purpose of the term "golden" as used in the subtitle is symbolic of summer time and youthful age. The word is used ironically to refer to the hall used for playing pool. The aimless pool players view the place nothing but golden. In line 7 of the poem, Brooks represents the month of June as fragrant. This non-controversial tendency symbolizes a very polite society which the boys defy by jazzing. The poem has frequently used alliteration which has influenced the creation of percussion effect. "Sing Sin" "Jazz June" lines 5 and 7 in the poem respectively are examples of alliteration. "Pool Players" in the subtitle is also alliteration. The repeated word "We" in lines 1-7 creates enjambment in the poem (Brooks, lines5, 7).
In conclusion, Brooks's poem is meant to discourage young people who drop out of school for irresponsible activities. This instructional poem inhibits the actions of youths which lead to the unfortunate end as expressed in the phrase "Die soon." The character(s) in the poem seems to care less about the actions they take and the consequences. The title "We real cool" suggests the use of non-standard English. The choice of words here suggests a proud rhythm. With the view of this poem, therefore, we feel after reading the poem that we should discourage irresponsible behavior in the society, especially to young people.
Brooks, Gwendolyn. "We real cool." Poetry (1959): 373-373.
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