Analysis on ?We Real Cool? by Gwendolyn Brooks Essay

This essay has a total of 1368 words and 5 pages.

Analysis on ?We Real Cool? by Gwendolyn Brooks

The poem "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks is a stream of the thoughts of poor inner city
African-Americans who have adopted a hoodlum lifestyle. Though many can have different
interpretations of this poem, it is fair to look at the life and career or the works and
influences of Gwendolyn Brooks.

The life and art of the black American poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, began on June 7, 1917 when
she was born in Topeka, Kansas. She was the first child of Keziah Corine Wims and David
Anderson Brooks. When she was four, her family moved to their permanent residence on
Champlin Avenue in Chicago. Her deep interest in poetry consumed much of her early life.
For instance, Brooks began rhyming at the age of seven. When she was thirteen, she had her
first poem, "Eventide", published in American Childhood Magazine. Her first experience of
high school came from the primary white high school in the city, Hyde Park High School.
Thereafter, she transferred to an all-black high school and then to the integrated
Englewood High School. By 1934, Brooks had become a member of the staff of the Chicago
Defender and had published almost one hundred of her poems in a weekly poetry column. In
1936, she graduated from Wilson Junior College.

Another part of her life came as she married Henry Blakely just two years after she
graduated from college. At the age of twenty-three, Brooks had her first child, Henry,
Jr., and by 1943, she had won the Midwestern Writers Conference Poetry Award. Her first
book of poetry, published in 1945, altered a commonly held view about the production of
black arts in America but also brought her instant critical acclaim. In addition, she has
accompanied several other awards, which includes two Guggenheim awards, appointment as
Poet Laureate of Illinois, and the National Endowment for the Arts Lifetime Achievement
Award. Brooks was the first African-American writer both win the Pulitzer Prize and to be
appointed to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Brooks received more than fifty
honorary doctorates from colleges and universities. Her first teaching job was at a poetry
workshop at Columbia College in Chicago. In 1969, the Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center
opened on the campus of Western Illinois University. She went on to teach creative writing
at a number of institutions including Northeastern Illinois University, Elmhurst College,
and the University of Wisconsin. She has published more than twenty books in her lifetime.
After a lifetime of skilled verse writing, Brooks died of cancer in December 2000 when she
was 83 years old.

The works of Gwendolyn Brooks has gone through several changes throughout her career. When
she first published in 1945, she was eager to be understood by strangers. In her last two
poetical collections, however, she has dumped that attitude and gone "black". Her change
then led her from a major publishing house to smaller black ones. While some critics found
an angrier tone in her work, elements of protest had always been present in her writing.
Her poetry moves from traditional forms including sonnets, ballads, variations of the
Chaucerian and Spenserian stanzas, and the rhythm of the blues to the most unrestricted
free verse. To sum up, the popular forms of English poetry appear in her work, but there
is some testing as she puts together lyric, narrative, and dramatic poetic forms. In her
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