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Friday, June 24, 2011

We Real Cool - 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.


The most obvious feature of this poem is how none distinctly un-cool the poet thinks the subjects of the poem are.  The pool players in the poem are, presumably, free loading men, dropouts, contributing nothing to the world but a few occasional dollars to the local liquor store.  They think themselves the height of cool, drinking, playing pool, when in fact, they are portrayed very unfavorable in the poem.  This is all obvious and clear, and to me, is not the most interesting part of the poem.

For me, the interesting rhythmic patterns of the poem are the most noteworthy feature.  Their cadence mimics phrases of an improvised jazz solo.  The short bursts are like little melodivitic ideas.  Combining them into two line stanzas creates a small "idea" that mimics motives jazz artists weave into their solos.  They all contribute to a coherent whole, which, like a jazz solo, carries some sort of artistic expression, and meaning.  For me, this poem is useless unless read aloud.

So do yourself a favor:  read this poem out loud, dramatically.  We reeeaaalll cool.  We left school.  Ham it up.  Play with it.  This is jazzy, and needs speak.

2 comments:

  1. rhythmic poems always feels good :)
    thanks for posting such a nices poems
    best regards: http://mp3videosongs123.blogspot.com

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  2. nice work + awsome
    best regards: http://qaidkhana.blogspot.com

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