”I’m such a fool to not see life is cool”: Gwendolyn Brooks-Inspired Poems

Students read Gwendolyn Brooks’ classic poem, ‘We Real Cool’ before crafting their own ‘cool’ poems using their own words and ideas for what is cool, rhyme, repetition, and the short form.

We Real Cool

by Gwendolyn Brooks

               The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel.

We real cool. We

            Left school. We

            Lurk late. We

            Strike straight. We

            Sing sin. We

            Thin gin. We

            Jazz June. We

            Die soon.

Lesson Note:  “Well, I’m a poet, but I’ve also worked in libraries and in institutions like the Schomburg Center that seeks to understand and convey the power of Black culture. Poets are often making connections between things, and that’s also what a museum does. It connects us to conversations, it confronts us with artifacts and history in ways that poetry does. And it also reminds us of our roles in the world and with each other. In other words, it asks us to think about our humanity. Great museums and great poetry do that in different, but complementary ways.”-Poet, Kevin Young, editor of ‘African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song’  to Oprah Daily, April 30th, 2021.

Ms. Romano, 7th Grade


by Keith C.

I think Gucci is cool!

I went to the pool.

The next day I went to school

and it’s not dull.


by Javante S.

I think books are cool I went

to get some tools the next day I

went to get some noodles.

Ms. Turner, 6th

What Makes You Cool

by Demijah

What makes you cool

is it the clothes you like?

Maybe it’s the songs

Maybe it’s the shoes you wear

or how you don’t care.

Or maybe it’s how when you go to school you

follow the rules and know you’re not a fool!


by Deaundre

Money stack is TALL

and when it FALLS

before I go to school, I fill up my car with fuel

I hang out with my friends because we cool

Ms. Romano, 7th Grade

Cool School Poem

by Kamari W.

The pool was looking cool

And the school was looking cruel

But our school went to Africa…

and we saw mules.

Why Life is Cool

by Hope W.

I’m such a fool to not see life is cool

Only a cruel person can hate

school. I feel like people hate school

but school is the only way to our

fate. So many things to love

like good smells and doves and I still

think, why is life so cool?

Ms. Turner, 6th Grade

My Fashion Cool

by Ayana N.

My fashion is

kool, others

look like fools

they see

me they

drool, don’t

worry I’m

kool I get

in the

pool my fashion is



yea, my fashion still kool



and Chanel

I’m dressing

cuter than

you ever


My Sport Cool Poem

by Jestlin

My cool sport

has a pool

with some

tools. If you

stop, you’ll look like

a fool.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.