Study Guide

We Real Cool What's Up With the Title?

By Gwendolyn Brooks

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.

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