ENGL 102 – 50
Critical Analysis of “We Real Cool”
The poem “We Real Cool” is a simple read for the audience. Although it is straightforward there are many poetic points that it touches upon. This aspect is helpful to those who study poetry as it makes figures of speech easy to detect and easy to become familiar with. The title is intentionally written with improper grammar. Calling oneself “cool” is counter-productive as it suggests the opposite. It is appropriate for the poem that follows, seeing as though the poem uses the same structure from the title throughout: “We real cool. We Left school.” The title strikes interest in the reader as it’s well known for poems to take a more professional stance than use improper grammar. The speaker is a group of dropouts who roam the streets at night. Hence the lines “We Left school. We Lurk late.” The poem is very straight forward in it’s meaning. However, it’s not long so you must piece together what’s missing. We know they stay out late, commit sins, drink, and have sex, but we don’t know their thoughts. We have to assume from their actions what they are thinking. The speakers make direct sentences, yet seem doubtful as they speak them. The mood is very appropriate to the poem itself. A group of young dropouts who believe they are sophisticated. They’ve made their decision to leave school because they have a better idea of what they want to do. However, from a reader’s point of view it may seem ridiculous the speakers are so certain they want to spend their days hanging out on the street late at night. The poem is short and easy to read, without much emotion. There are no thoughts or complex sentences. The only thought available to the reader is they feel like they are “cool.” All sentences have the same structure such as, “We Sing sin. We Thin gin.” The simple sentences portray the group of young men don’t have many aspirations in life. They only have the few things on their list and then they see...
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