Poem Analysis : We Real Cool And Summer Words Of A Sistuh Addict Essay

Poem Analysis : We Real Cool And Summer Words Of A Sistuh Addict Essay

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Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, in their poems “We Real Cool” and “Summer Words of a Sistuh Addict”, are both alike in their idea of dealing with troubled youth. Brooks discusses in her poem “We Real Cool” rebellious pool-playing youth that “sing sin” (Line 5) and “thin gin.” (Line 6) The whole poem centers around disturbed youth. The narrator in Sonia Sanchez’s poem “Summer Words of a Sistuh Addict”, is also a disturbed young woman who is addicted to heroin, and seems to live a rather rebellious lifestyle. In addition, both of these poems use tone via word choice, sentence structure, and meter in order to vividly describe the scenarios in their poems, and to impact their reader. However, both poets use the literary elements mentioned above differently in their poems.
Gwendolyn Brooks in “We Real Cool” develops an ironic, sarcastic tone through specific word choice. The poem begins with the phrase “We real cool” (Line 1) so immediately, the reader knows that these pool playing buddies define themselves as “cool”. In their minds, they are the epitomes of cool. They are “appealing in a way that
(Wallace 2)
is generally approved of especially by young people.” (learnersdictionary.com) Ironically however, their unruly behaviors are nothing short of disrespectful and unacceptable. Brooks goes on to write that these group of boys “left school” (Line 2) and “lurk late.” (Line 3) So, these “cool kids” are not only uneducated, but they are also troublemaking, rebellious hoodlums! They “lurk late” which means that they wait around for trouble and all other unruly activities that occur in the wee hours of the night. Brooks writes that they “sing sin”, (Line 5) spewing curses and filth from their lips. Yet even though they behave in a...


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...the narrator struggles with a difficult relationship with her mom, and to release those feelings of anger towards her, she smoke heroin. Thus, the disorganized meter and rhythms sound just like the narrator’s own life. The meter also becomes more disorderly as the narrator becomes more involved in frenzied, drug-related activity. In line fourteen, the sentence reads “I did it. Uh. Huh. I did it. Uh huh.” Clearly, Sanchez used free verse with no meter to mirror the narrator’s own troubled life.
In conclusion, both Brooks and Sanchez used word choice, sentence structure, and meter in order to convey meanings and even extract a response from their readers. Skillfully they used creativity in order to deepen their poems’ meanings and make works of art that will remain timeless. “We Real Cool” and “Summer Words of a Sistuh Addict” both reflect the genius of their poets.

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