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How to Read a Poem
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Kitchenette Building Analysis
Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay
Form and Meter
Free VerseDon't let the word "free" fool you. Just because this poem isn't working within typical formal constraints doesn't mean Brooks isn't laying down some serious formal poetic elements here....
The speaker of this poem lives in one of the Chicago kitchenette buildings from the 1930s. Rather than narrate the poem from the first person ("I"), Brooks chooses to use the first person plural pe...
We hate to sound like a broken record, but in case you didn't catch this already: the poem takes place in a kitchenette building. A kitchenette building is sort of like an apartment building. It's...
Brooks is dropping some perfect rhymes here, so listen up. We talked about the rhyme scheme in the "Form and Meter" section. It propels the poem along, like a strong and steady freight train. But t...
What's Up With the Title?
At first glance, the title seems innocent enough. "Kitchenette" has a cute-sounding ending—like a dinette or something—and before you know it you're thinking of a sweet old lady sipping tea at...
Poet of the PeopleWhile some poets spend their time musing over the universe's big ideas, or the private matters of the heart and soul, Brooks focuses on real (often downtrodden) people. You don't...
(2) Sea LevelOnce you get the historical background for the kitchenette buildings, you'll be pretty well equipped to tackle these simple, but masterful, thirteen lines from Brooks. She tells it lik...
Gwendolyn Brooks was known as "Gwendie" to her close family and friends. Who doesn't love a good nickname! (Source.)Brooks wrote more than poetry. In fact, she published six books of prose. (Source...
PG-13While this poem doesn't have any actual sex in it, we've got to admit that "satisfying a man" has a sexual overtone that's hard to ignore. Cover your younger sister or brother's ears for that...
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