Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

We Real Cool Summary & Analysis
by Gwendolyn Brooks

Question about this poem?
Have a question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Ask us
Ask us
Ask a question
Ask a question
Ask a question

“We Real Cool” is a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, first published in her 1960 collection The Bean Eaters. The poem describes a group of teenagers hanging out outside of a pool hall. It imagines these teenagers as rebels who proudly defy convention and authority—and who will likely pay for their behavior with their lives. The poem isn't overly pessimistic, however, and also suggests that such youthful rebellion may not be entirely in vain. It's possible to read the poem as a warning against self-destructive behavior, and also as a celebration of people who risk their lives to challenge authority.

Get
Get
LitCharts
Get the entire guide to “We Real Cool” as a printable PDF.
Download