We Real Cool Summary & Analysis

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About the Poem “We Real Cool

Poem TitleWe Real Cool
PoetGwendolyn Brooks
Publication Year1960
GenreJazz poetry, confessional poetry
Poem TypeFour stanzas, eight lines
Poetic FormThe poem is written in free verse.
ThemeYouth, rebellion, alienation, consequences of choices
SettingOutside a pool hall
SpeakerThe poem is narrated by a group of young delinquent individuals.
ToneDefiant, detached, and unapologetic.
StructureThe poem consists of eight lines with a distinctive rhythm.
Language and StyleThe poem uses informal language and colloquial expressions.
Rhyme SchemeAABB

Themes of We Real Cool

The themes of “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks are:

  • Rebellion ➤ The speakers of the poem are rebelling against the expectations of society. They skip school, stay out late, drink alcohol, and jazz.
  • Youth ➤ The poem is about the experiences and perspectives of young people.
  • Mortality ➤ The poem’s final line, “We die soon,” suggests that the speakers’ rebellious lifestyle is likely to lead to their early deaths

We Real Cool” Poem by Gwendolyn Brooks

The Pool Players.

Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We   

Left school. We

Lurk late. We

Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We   

Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We   

Die soon.

We Real Cool Summary & Analysis

The poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks is a short poem about group of seven teenagers who are hanging out outside of a pool hall narrate the poem. They are defiant and rebellious, rejecting society’s traditional values and expectations.

The speakers begin the poem by declaring that they are “cool.” This is a term they use to describe themselves as outsiders, as people who do not fit into the mainstream. They’re cool because they don’t go to school, hang out late at night, and drink gin. They’re cool because they’re outlaws.

In the second stanza, the speakers go into more detail about their rebellious activities. They claim to spend all day “playing pool” and “shooting pool.” They are also violent, fighting and “cutting class.” Rebellion is a way for the speakers to assert their independence and escape society’s constraints.

However, the poem implies that the speakers’ rebellion will have consequences. In the third stanza, they admit that they are “lousy” and that they will “die soon.” Their rebellious lifestyle is causing them physical and emotional harm.

The poem’s final stanza is a chilling reminder of the high cost of rebellion. The speakers just keep saying, “We Die Soon.” This repetition emphasizes the futility of their rebellion. It is their way of life that is causing them to die at such a young age.

FAQs from We Real Cool

What is the meaning of We Real Cool?

The poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks is about young people trying to be cool and rebellious but facing possible bad outcomes.

What is the moral of We Real Cool?

The moral of poem “We Real Cool” is that making bad choices can lead to problems.

What does thin gin mean in We Real Cool?

“thin gin” refers to a kind of alcoholic drink.

What are the elements of We Real Cool?

The elements in the poem are confidence, leaving school, staying out late, and the possibility of bad outcomes.

What does we sing sin mean in We Real Cool?

“we sing sin” means that the speakers celebrate their rebellious and delinquent behavior.

What poem was inspired by We Real Cool?

Golden Shovel poems are inspired by We Real Cool.

What is the alliteration in We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks?

he alliteration in “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks is: “Lurk late,” “Strike straight,” “Sing sin,” and “Jazz June.”

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