We Real Cool Analysis

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“We Real Cool”

What I like about this poem is that its meaning is relevant to any generation. No matter what is going on in the world there will always be kids who want to be rebellious, skip school, and do whatever they want with no regard for the consequences. One thing that caught my attention in this poem was the strange placement of the word “We” at the end of each line. At first this confused me but after hearing Gwendolyn Brooks read the poem, I realized that the placement of “We” created a rhythm if read a certain way. However, this rhythm abruptly ends with the absence of a “We” after “We die soon” in the last line, which may symbolize how abruptly and unexpectedly a kid’s life can end if he or she makes the wrong decisions. This poem does not correlate as directly to my life as is does to John Ulrich’s but seeing the choices certain people made in the transition from high school to college last year really made me realize how quickly people can change if they take advantage of just the slightest bit of freedom.

“My Papa’s Waltz”

After reading the poem, I gathered that the narrator was a child who was regularly abused by his father. However, it seems like the child is so used to the abuse that he describes it with light words and phrasing such as “waltzing” and “beating time.” I also believe that the waltzing metaphor could be a play on the phrase “dancing with death”, but that could just be a coincidence. I found William Van Field’s interpretation to be very interesting, and it was uplifting to look at a poem in a more positive light that at first seems depressing.

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