What is the form (narrative, sonnet, monologue, lyric)  of "We Real Cool" by Gwendolyn Brooks?

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Lyric poetry is typically identified by its form and its subject. It is called "lyric" because it has some kind of rhythm and seems as though it could be set to music, and it also tends to describe and/or express human emotion or feeling. This poem has both characteristics. In...

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Lyric poetry is typically identified by its form and its subject. It is called "lyric" because it has some kind of rhythm and seems as though it could be set to music, and it also tends to describe and/or express human emotion or feeling. This poem has both characteristics. In addition, this poem is particularly musical because it makes use of a great many sound devices. For example, there are many examples of rhyme, such as "cool" and "school," "late" and "straight," "sin" and "Thin" and "gin," and "June" and "soon." There are many examples of alliteration, which is the repetition of the initial consonant sound in words near one another: "Left, "Lurk" and "late"; "strike," "straight," "Sing," and "sin"; and "gin," "Jazz," and "June." There are also many examples of consonance, which is the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are near one another, such as the final consonants in "real" and "cool," "Lurk" and "Strike," and "gin" and "June." In fact, the only word in the whole poem that is not connected to another word in the line above it or below it via some musical device is "Die" in the last line. This makes it stand out, as does the fact that the last line feels truncated, or cut off, because it does not employ the repetition of the word "We," as all the other lines do. This emphasizes the result of all the behaviors described in the poem.

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Gwendolyn Brooks's "We Real Cool" is a very short, nontraditional poem. It doesn't fit into any very formal poetic structure. Of the poem types you've listed, "lyric" would be the closest category into which we could place "We Real Cool," and this is because lyric poetry is also the most general category of poems. Lyric poetry does not have to rhyme or follow a set meter; it only has to be about something, usually a feeling or an idea. Often, lyric poems express the speaker's emotions toward something, whether that be a person, place, or philosophy.

Brooks's poem follows a structure of her own making in that seven of the eight lines end with "We" as the start of the next statement that will continue onto the next line; therefore, the poem is characterized by its enjambment as well as its repetition. The simple language and form allow Brooks to express a sad truth about this "We" she describes, in lines 7-8, "We / Die soon." The powerful final statement indicates that all of the activities listed previously in the poem will lead to the premature deaths of these "cool" folk. Brooks seem to be describing a party crowd who dropped out of school and spend their time staying out late and drinking "gin." The poem bluntly states that such actions will likely not lead to a long life for those who partake. It's a simply worded and structured lyric poem that ends with a dark message that we might not expect based on the rhythm and casual tone of the piece.

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This poem is a lyric poem, except, of course, that it is not one person telling us about themselves but a group that speaks using the first person plural, "We." When we think about the form of poetry, a narrative is a story told normally by some form of omniscient narrator, a sonnet is a fourteen line poem with a strict rhyme scheme and structure and a monologue poem is a poem that is a long story told by one person.

A lyrical poem is a poem that is normally short and brief, and a poem that is of a song-like quality. The alliteration and the rhyme serve to make this poem definitely song-like in its presentation. Just read it out to hear the song-like cadence of the rhythm.

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