Children and teenagers tend to give more importance on “groups” than older people. The two poems We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks and Deliberate by Amy Uyematsu relate about rebellion and how significant being in a group can be for teenagers. By comparing these two poems that have the same topic we will study how two authors can write differently about the same subject. We Real Cool and Deliberate have the same topic, kids for whom the most important thing is to be in groups. The two poems relate about teenagers that are obviously not fond about attending school “We/ Left school” (in We Real Cool, l. ). The kids don’t only like to be in groups but they also show a rebellious behavior “We/ Lurk late” (in We Real Cool, l. 3); “Like gangsters” (in Deliberate, l. 10). It seems that the teenagers really don’t care about their education, are carefree, and live day by day. The happiness that they are feeling by singing, drinking, playing (in We Real Cool), hanging out, painting their eyes, going out at night (in Deliberate) support this theory. The desire and need for them to be cool is expressed as well in both poems as it is the title of one of them and “we want so bad/ To be cool” (in Deliberate l. ). Moreover, as the poems are based on being in groups, the subject “we” appears many times in both poems. We Real Cool and Deliberate may be very similar in some ways, they are also very different. Uyematsu wrote a longer poem and is being more specific and gives more details in her poem. We get to know and identify better her characters. First of all, we guess that they are not Caucasian “never to be mistaken/for white” (in Deliberate, l. 6) but probably Hispanic or African looking or are Caucasian but pretending not to be.
The author also suggests that they are females “we paint our eyes”; “flash our legs in nylons sassy black high heel or two inch zippered boots” (in Deliberate, l. 10) and young, as the girls stack their boots next to their dads’ at night. Brooks’ poem is more implicit as it is very short, not detailed. We have no idea on who the characters are, their gender or where they live. I think that they probably are boys and teenagers as they left school and drink alcohol. As a matter of fact, Amy Uyematsu’s poem is “telling” whereas Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem is “showing”. The major variance between the two poems is their ending.
Indeed, the end in tragic in We Real Cool and leaves a bitter taste as the tone changes dramatically at the last sentence “We/ Die soon” (in We Real Cool l. 8). “We Real Cool” definitely has a powerful message behind it. Gwendolyn Brooks illustrates the essence of troubled teenagers who will eventually suffer the ill-fated possibility that life renders a human being if they continue the lifestyle of the streets — death. The life of these boys may be clouded with excitement and danger, but the lives they are leading are not sustainable; they are extremely likely to die as a result of the path they chose to take.