Critical Analysis Of Poems We Real Cool By Gwendolyn Brooks, Power By Audre Lorde And Wishes Of Sons By Lucille Clifton

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Poem of Brooks

The selected poem of Brooks in this case is “We Real Cool”. The plot of this poem is that it focuses the lives of seven pool players who left school and play pool. They decided to go far from the establishment and plan to die soon. The primary theme of this poem is that pool player have pride on their aimless behaviour. They are living in a culture where the most talented people end up saying that they have scarce monetary and social opportunities. Gwendolyn Brooks tries to give a robust message through this poem that it is not cool to stop taking education and wasting time in the streets. Gwendolyn Brooks states that the reality is against it and it shows that being cool like pool players ends up in a dead-end street(Smith, 1985).

The poet uses various poetic devices in this poem to attract readers. For instance, the poem has alliteration such as Sing sin,’ ‘Strike straight,’ ‘Lurk late,’ and various others. Moreover, Gwendolyn Brooks uses various assonance in his poem such as ‘sin’ and ‘gin,’ ‘late’ and ‘straight,’ and ‘cool’ and ‘school.’ The theme of this poem reflects American culture in terms that the country lacks career development options(Smith, 1985). The most talented people are not getting social and monetary chances and kids prefer to bunk school and roam in the streets, as they are aware of the fact that they have no future in education. They consider it pride to roam in the streets and not go to school.

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Poem of Lorde

The selected poem of Audre Lorde is power. The primary theme of this poem is the power that everybody possesses. She states that she has her powers as a writer and the system has its own powers. Likewise, every individual in society has some power. However, black community in America is powerless and the poet focuses the feelings of the black community about the powers of others and how black people in oppressed by others(Chinn, 2003). The poet uses her poetic prose in this poem to express her feelings of anger and fury regarding an unjust incident that took place in New York City in the late 1970’s. The poet uses her poetic gift in this context to stand against racial injustices in American society. She states that every individual has self-respect and self-esteem but white people in America do not respect the black community.

America is facing a serious issue regarding racism and the black community does not have equal rights to expression and justice. The judicial system of the country is biased and it is the case for every department in American society. She expressed her feelings of sorrow and anger over 10-year-old Clifford Glover killing in this poem stating that it is unfair to kill a child based on his skin color or ethnic background. In simple words, it is easy to say that the poem “power” by Audre Lorde highlights the dark side of the American culture stating that this culture is not favourable for black community(Chinn, 2003). People do not respect minorities and even the law enforcement agencies in the country are involved in unfortunate incidents of killing and hurting black community along with other minorities in the country and no one is there to advocate for the rights of the black community in the country.

Poem of Clifton

The poem under consideration of Clifton in this study is the “wishes of sons”. The poem of pure feministic and it has a serious message for sons of men stating that they have no idea how much pain and sufferings females have to face in their life. Clifton is wishing men periods, cramps, clots, and hot flashes in her poem. The primary wish of Clifton for men in this poem is that the meet arrogance of gynaecologists. The primary theme of this poem is that Lucille Clifton is highlighting the hardships and sufferings of women in this case(Lantz, 1982). She has a clear stance in the poem that females have to face more challenges and difficulties in their lives as compared to males. The poem highlights American culture in which it is a general concept that males are dominant and they are suffering for their families and females are enjoying their lives. Lucille Clifton states that men cannot even imagine the hardships that women have to face in their lives owing to unique physical structure and reproduction systems(Lantz, 1982). The essence of this poem is to ensure that women get equal respect in society.


  1. Abell, J. L. (2001). African/American: Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs and the American Civil Rights Movement. American Review, 35(3), 459-470.
  2. Chinn, S. E. (2003). Feeling her way: Audre Lorde and the power of touch. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 9(1), 181-204.
  3. Lantz, H. R. (1982). Romantic love in the pre-modern period: A sociological commentary. . Journal of Social History, 15(3), 349-370.
  4. Potter, R. G. (1981). Character definition through syntax: significant within-play variability in 21 modern English-language plays. Style, 415-434.
  5. Smith, G. (1985). Brooks’s WE REAL COOL. Explicator, 43(2), 49.


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