We Real Cool

By Gwendolyn Brooks 1917–2000 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.

Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1963 by Gwendolyn Brooks. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Gwendolyn Brooks.

Source: Poetry (September 1959).

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This poem originally appeared in the September 1959 issue of Poetry magazine

September 1959
 Gwendolyn  Brooks

Biography

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first black author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. Many of Brooks's works display a political consciousness, especially those from the 1960s and later, with several of her poems reflecting the civil . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Gender & Sexuality, Youth, Race & Ethnicity, Social Commentaries, Living

Poetic Terms Assonance, Alliteration, Consonance, Couplet

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