Gwendolyn Brooks was born in Topeka, Kansas and raised in Chicago. She is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including, Children Coming Home (The David Co., 1991); Blacks (1987); To Disembark (1981); The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems (1986); Riot (1969); In the Mecca (1968); The Bean Eaters (1960); Annie Allen (1949), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize; and A Street in Bronzeville (1945).

This is my favorite poem by Ms. Brooks:

We Real Cool


We real cool.

We Left school.

We Lurk late.

We Strike straight.

We Sing sin.

We Thin gin.

We Jazz June.

We Die soon.


  1. I cannot thank you enough for this series of posts. I am thoroughly enjoying them as well as sharing them with my family.I read aloud the poem by Langston Hughes, and keep saying the crystal stair line to myself over and over. It is such an inspiring poem for me.This one too has it own special warmth – I can well understand why you have chosen these poems – it is almost as if they reach out and hold you as you read them.\”We sing sin!\” Oh My :] Love it!M x

  2. Amazing poet with the best name. 🙂 I love Gwendolyn Brooks. Her one and only novel, Maud Martha, is one of my favorites. Her poetry is amazing. My favorite Gwendolyn Brooks poem is \”The Mother.\”Gwyneth

  3. I really liked this one too. It made me laugh a bit around the end and I know it\’s cruel, but the author constructed it so well that the ending fitted perfectly and well it\’s the harsh true.

  4. Miladysa,You\’re so welcome. I am so glad that I introduced them to you. Enjoy! :*)Lana,LOL. :*)Raine,Really? I read it in high school and never forgot it. It relates so much to out-of-control kids. :*)Charles,It is! :*)Gwyneth,This one was always my favorite by her! :*)Day,You\’re right! It\’s all too true! :*)

  5. Now these are great posts. I\’m taking these away to use in my class!FYI — re: cpa/tax attorneys- I paid their fees out of the the tax savings they got me…AND the fees are tax deductible THIS year. much aloha!

  6. wow. Nice poem. Sounds like an ode to living life.You know its sad that I have never heard of Gwendolyn Brooks. I am going to have to sit and read up on her one Sunday.Thanks for sharing.

  7. Pat,Thanks for the information. That is something that I definitely need to know! :*)AW,Thanks! :*)Karrie,This was my favorite poem by Ms. Brooks as well. :*)Don,You\’re welcome. You should definitely check her out! She\’s great! :*)

  8. That was cool! And can I say I did not know anything about her? So this was especially cool for me to read!Love this series! Keep it coming!

  9. OMG! I haven\’t heard Gwendolyn Brooks mentioned since I was in high school! How awesome to read her work again. I remember reading this very poem in 9th grade and getting a chill after \”We Die Soon\”. The poem still has the same effect on me now. Powerful words. Thanks so much for sharing! :*)

  10. Preposterous,That she is. I love your avatar! :*)Chris,I laugh every single time I see that avatar. I love all these poets.Devon,Sometimes less is better! :*)Ello,Thanks. I\’ll do that. She was so awesome. Thanks for reading them! :*)Afrobabe,Ah, do you write as well? :*) Agents blogs are so helpful and wonderful!Cora,It\’s very powerful. You\’re welcome. I just wanted to do something different this month. :*)

  11. Great, Don! So mayn great minds to remember. :*)Traveldiva,Thank you so much! :*)Dejanae,Thanks. I plan to. :*)Written,She\’s excellent. She offered a lot to the field. :*)Lana,I\’m headed over to your blog. :*)

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