We Real Cool
We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay
  • Youth
  • Music
  • Pool Players
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Pool Players

Symbol Analysis

Brooks has said she was intrigued by the mix of rebelliousness and insecurity she perceived in the boys she saw playing pool. They want to be noticed, but they also want to seem like they don't give a darn either way. The repeated use of the word "We" reinforces their group identity, which could be interpreted as solidarity in the face of great social obstacles.

  • Subtitle: "POOL PLAYERS" is the first example of alliteration in the poem.
  • Lines 1-7: The word "We" is repeated at the end of these lines to create enjambment, or a part of a sentence that carries over the line break.