Study Guide

We Real Cool Calling Card

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Calling Card

Portraits of the Urban Poor

Brooks's poetry draws heavily on her native Chicago. It focuses attention on poor, simple city dwellers. In another one of her poems, "The Bean Eaters," for example, describes a couple living in a rented room, and they can only afford to eat beans for dinner. "We Real Cool" describes urban youths, and for the most part, her tone is neither angry nor judgmental. She describes the way things are using straightforward, matter-of-fact language, and allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

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