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"We Real Cool" is a poem written by Gwendolyn Broooks in 1959 and was first published in 1960 in her popular book "The Bean Eaters". The poem is composed of four verses and each verse has two rhyming lines. Most of the lines end with the word "we". In the poem the, Brooks identifies the struggles that the young in America underwent in their quest for identity in the late fifties and early sixties.
Essentially, the poem is an illustration of a group of young black boys who choose to hang around pool joints instead of attending school. The boys are uncertain and indecisive about their roles in the community; therefore, they mask their fears and uncertainties by talking tough and behaving like thugs. These boys believe that they are destined to be criminals like most back men that came before them. Instead of fighting the stereotype of the lazy and useless black men, they despair and do nothing to change their situations.
They sing. They play. They drink. These lines underline the fact that the back youth are ready and willing to do anything that makes them happy or ecstatic. Generally, they are carefree with their lives. The tome of the poem is very optimistic but changes dramatically as the poem nears its conclusion "We die soon".
There is no doubt that the poem outlines the fears and ambitions of seven young men. The subtitle of the poem outlines that "The pool Players Seven at the Golden Shovel." This clearly indicates that the behaviors of seven black men who prefer to idle next to pool facility named Golden shovel. Seven is a number that characterize good luck and it is seen to represent the group of seven youths who must rely on luck to overcome their financial and social challenges. The name of the pool facility "Golden shovel" illustrates the brevity of that is associated with the life of black youth. The golden part of the name indicates that the black players are still very youth with young and promising futures while the shovel section indicates that the youth are systemically digging their own graves. Brooks indicates that the young men will definitely have short lives, that is, they will die soon.
In conclusion, the poem is very outstanding because it outlines the futility and despair that characterized the back America youth in the late fifties and early sixties. This feeling of despair was brought about by the stereotype that back men were intellectually inferior. The poem depicts a sense of hopelessness. The boys are seemingly content with the fact that their lives will be very short and they have given up on the future and are living in the moment.