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“We Real Cool” by Gwendelyn Brooks
               The Pool Players. 

        Seven at the Golden Shovel.

            We real cool. We   

            Left school. We 

            Lurk late. We 

            Strike straight. We 

            Sing sin. We   

            Thin gin. We 

            Jazz June. We   

            Die soon.

Today I found myself thinking about this old poem. I have read it hundreds of times, and probably written countless commentaries on it for school, but I feel as though the meaning of this poem evolves as we age. “We Real Cool” is a simple poem about some pool players in a pool hall, a place where “cool” people would probably hang out in the late 1950s. The lines of this poem state what they do, the first line seems positive enough, but the poem seems to spiral out into an extremely morbid realization at the end. The pool players are doing things that seem “cool” when one is young, such as skipping school, staying out late, drinking, and partying all night, but in the end they seem to realize that living in this manner may lead to an untimely death. While I was reading this poem today, I actually saw the the last line a bit differently, I saw it as though these pool players have reached the height of what they considered to be “cool,” and had nothing left to do in their minds, other than to die. In a sense this is a sad poem, life is about more than keeping up appearances or being popular, and if anyone lives for a certain status, where do they go once that status is gone? This poem encompasses the saying “youth is wasted on the young” perfectly, When we are young we really don’t worry about the future, we live for the day and hope to be ok tomorrow. This poem is short, but if it is read a certain way it can be incredibly deep. I will definitely read this poem again in 10 years, I may have a wider observation on it, or even a completely different view on the message these “cool cats” were trying to send in this interesting piece.