We Real Cool – Gwendolyn Brooks

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(:20)
read by Gwendolyn Brooks. audio from poets.org. Recorded May 03, 1983

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.

(1959)

4 thoughts on “We Real Cool – Gwendolyn Brooks

  1. johnlos

    makes him sound pretentious about what i would argue is a pretty simple poem. i suppose my poetry experience is limited to song lyrics (which ofttimes are not poetry, but nonetheless), and i generally like lyrics that evoke thoughts and feelings in ways that i think ‘wow that’s a great use of the language, i never would have thought to write that’. i suppose this is hardly an original thought. anyway, the only line in that poem i’m vaguely impressed by was “thin gin”, which used a common word in a way i’ve never seen.

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