We Real Cool
by Gwendolyn Brooks
Analysis: What's Up With the Title?
The title of this poem is the same as the first line. It lets us know that the speaker will be imitating the voice of a group of young men in Chicago. The title's musical qualities make it particularly expressive. The vowel sounds go from high to low, like walking down three steps. "We" – high. "Real" – middle. "Cool" – low. You might also put a heavy emphasis on the word "real": "We reeaaal cool." After reading this poem, you might find yourself repeating the title over and over again, fiddling with different ways to say it. The poem also has a subtitle, which you can read about in our "Line-By-Line" walk though.