Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the most renowned US poets. She received numerous honors for her works, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. One of her best works, which has been quoted for more than fifty years, is We Real Cool. This poem is also remarkable as it is marked by the shift in the poet’s style.
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Thus, Brooks’ first works are characterized by sophisticated academic style. Unlike those works, We Real Cool is created in a new style with the use of a simple but really refined structure. The simplified form enabled the poet to reveal her ideas in a more appealing and precise way.
First, it is important to consider the major theme of the poem to be able to analyze the significance of the style. In her poem, Brooks focuses on disaffected young urban men who hardly have clear goals to pursue and are rather lost and indifferent to the world around them. The young men depicted are breaking the rules and seem proud of their rebellious acts. They think they are against the system though they are rather against the life itself.
The young males waste their time cutting classes, drinking and engaging themselves in unlawful and violent acts. Nonetheless, even though the men seem brave and proud of their behavior, melancholy is what characterizes the males. Clearly, they move to the end and their sadness is apparent. Though they see no other way out than death, they desperately want to live.
This despair and strong desire to live is manifested with the help of the specific style. The use of antibacchius creates the special atmosphere of a paradox, despair and longing for life. The poet stresses and capitalizes verbs to emphasize the actions undertaken by the males. The actions are bold and even arrogant. However, the unstressed words reveal the paradox and real desires of the young men. The poet makes the reader understand that even though the boys act in such an arrogant manner, they are broken-hearted and desperate.
The final line is the strongest one as it encompasses the young men’s sorrows. The form enables the poet to reveal the meaning in a straight-forward way. The readers are not lost in words and smart expressions as they are exposed to the meaning and the emotions. Each line (and even each word) of the poem conveys an idea and bears certain emotion. The meter chosen helps the poet unveil bare feelings.
On balance, it is possible to note that We Real Cool is an emotional poem full of meaning and sorrow. The poet reveals her regrets concerning the generation of capable males who are lost in the world and do not feel connected. These men are ready to break the rules and die without looking for greater goals. The meter employed enables the poet to bring to the fore bare emotions which are not hidden behind sophisticated structures. This is a strong poem which makes the reader feel the despair of a whole generation.