“Kind heart. We/ Are smart. We”: Gwendolyn Brooks-style 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. Wright, 7th Grade

by Qiao Ying T.

What makes me and my friends cool is what we wear/ our style, what games we play, the grades we get, how good we are at something, and how resilient we are.

By: Noah W.

We fire. We
aren’t liars.

Kind heart. We
Are smart. We

Not exclude. We

Help others.
Support one another. We

Don’t strife. We
Live life.

Mrs. Sicora, 8th Grade

I’m so cool
by Karen L.

I’m so swag,
My awesomeness allows me to brag.

I’m so fire,
My food is what everyone desires.

I’m so dope,
My amazingness brings hope.

I’m so cool,
I make everyone else look like a fool.

This will be so cool
By: Kayli L.

Caps and gowns, diplomas too,
Graduation day, a dream come true,
The future’s bright, the world is wide,
Step by Step, we’ll take it in stride.

Friend and family, all in view,
Memories made, moments shared,
Graduation day, a time to be spared

Hopes and dreams, all coming through,
The world awaits, a new chapter,
Graduation day, a moment to capture.

Caps and gowns, diplomas too,
Exitcement’s high, the day’s brand new,
Years of work have led to this,
Graduation day, pure bliss



“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.