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Describe Gwendolyn Brooks' voice as a poet.Some examples, you know the drill.

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lgt-mouse | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:20 PM via web

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Describe Gwendolyn Brooks' voice as a poet.

Some examples, you know the drill.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Gwendolyn Brooks' voice, as a poet, is multifunctional and multidimensional. Depending upon the focus of the poem, Brooks' voice can be soothing or demanding, angry or calm, happy or sad.

Her voice changes dramatically given the piece, the emotional pull, or the mood which she establishes so precisely.

Brooks seems to personify the essence of whatever character she is exampling in her poems. Typically, the voices of the poor in the inner city explode from the lines.

One example of her inner city voice appears in the poem "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.

Here, Brooks personifies the voices of pool players. An engaged and active reader can see the mental image the voices of the pool players create in the mind. Definitively, Brooks has not only given the pool players a voice, she has also given them a physicality in appearance.

In "The Good Man," Brooks offers a very different voice. Here, readers can see woman talking about what makes a man good. Here, Brooks provides a list of characteristics which make a god man. The poem's voice, and therefore Brooks', offers a much different feel than the previous poem. Instead, the voice in "The Good Man" comes from the soul, not the ego (as in "We Real Cool"). The poem's mood depicts one of pride, one of religious connotations, intense emotion, and sermon-like appeal.

One last example of Brooks' voice can be found in "The Crazy Woman." Here, Brooks' offers a very sentimental view on womanhood. Brooks is the speaker in the poem, as denoted by "I," and one can feel the sorrow she feels upon making the choice when to and when not to sing. Given the fact that she does not sing when it is expected, Brooks is found to be crazy. In reality, Brooks is not crazy. She is simply making a decision for herself about her own life. She does not care what others think. This poem shows her absolute strength.

 

Sources:

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billybob156 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted November 5, 2011 at 6:40 AM (Answer #2)

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I totaly agree with the above anwer, heres what i found (implamenting what was stated above too)... italics=above

Gwendolyn Brooks was a highly regarded, much-honored poet, with the distinction of being the first African-American author to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also was poetry consultant to the Library of Congress—the first black woman to hold that position—and poet laureate of the State of Illinois. In the beginning of her career as a poet, Brooks adopted a traditional style of poetic form. It was through the resulting poetic voice that she expressed her poetry, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1950 for Annie Allen, her second volume of poetry that was published in 1949. With the dawn of the 1960s militant African American anti-racism movement, Brooks experienced a shift in vision, specifically as a result of a 1967 conference at Fisk University. From then on out, though Brooks still insisted upon her established style, with elevated language and traditional form, Brooks' poetic voice altered to reflect her new vision of poetry directed wholly toward an African American audience.

Gwendolyn Brooks' voice, as a poet, can be descried as multifunctional and multidimensional. Depending upon the focus of the poem, Brooks' voice can be soothing or demanding, angry or calm, happy or sad.  Her voice even changes dramatically within a poem, the emotional pull, or the mood which she establishes so precisely.  Consistently through all her poems Brooks seems to personify the essence of whatever character she is exampling in her poems. Typically, the voices of the poor in the inner city of Chicago explode from the lines.

One example of her inner city voice appears in the poem Patent Leather. Here, Brooks personifies the voice of the jealous man who is infuriated by the fact that the “cool chick down on Calumet” has been taken by someone less than him. An engaged and active reader can see the mental image of the voice of the man and the image of the lucky “cat” created in the mind of the poem. Definitively, Brooks has not only given them a voice and appearance, she has also given them an opinion that the reader can relate to.

In When I Die, Brooks offers a very different voice. Here, readers can see a woman talking about what she wants when she dies.  Here, Brooks provides the reader with a list of things she wants when she dies. The poem's voice, and therefore Brooks', offers a much different feel than the previous poem. Instead, the voice in When I Die comes from the soul, not the ego.  The poem's mood depicts one of pride, intense emotion, and modesty.  It is truly remarkable how easily the voice of Brooks can vary so much.

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