“We Real Cool”

by Gwendolyn Brooks


We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Daily Response: This is a great poem to teach, since it is short and easy to understand. Plus, the poem offers examples of alliteration, symbolism, enjambment, and rhythm. Poetry can be complex and turn off students completely–or it can convey a simple message like in this poem. Did you like poetry in school–or did you find it too complex?

6 thoughts on “Favorite Poem: “We Real Cool”

  1. My high school English teachers did a great job of presenting poetry. I like poetry with simple themes and rich sound. I like poetry that begs to be read out loud–much like “We Real Cool.”

  2. I grow up during the time that poetry was not at all considered cool and we in high school was faced to memorize varius poem and always except the interpretation of the teacher. Poetry was not a fun thing to do. I am just beginning to appreciate poetry as I read and listen to so many poets at this time.


    We were not taught poetry, but given traditional German songs to learn off by heart to recite in Assembly and to sing around camp fires when on school excursions.
    I reveled in those challenges which were timed in class…I often ended up learning the most verses…hahaha.

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