Thoughts On High School

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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?We real cool? and ?The Coora Flower? are two poems that talk about high school and their feelings and thoughts on it. The two poems differ in many ways. The different uses of imagery, tone and the speakers of the poems shows us how different the poems are. The words that Gwendolyn Brooks uses are there for a purpose and to make a point.

The use of imagery in the two poems tells a lot about the characters and their feelings toward school and life in general. In ?We Real Cool? she uses the word lurk to give you an idea of what the kids she is talking about are like. It tells the reader that the kids are sneaky and out past times they should not be. Even the sentence ?we lurk late? paint a picture of a bunch of kids hanging out after hours and are up to no good.

And even in ?The Coora Flower? she says ?but now its real business? using the word business to let us know that going home for her isn?t something that is fun it is something that she must do but it is still like a job. The girl saying ?I must watch myself,? ?I must not dare to sleep.? As the last lines of the poem paint a picture in your head of a girl laying in bed trying not to fall asleep for fear of the strange man in her house. The tone in this poem also tells a lot about the two stories.

?We Real Cool? the title and the first line of the poem, already sets the mood. It tells a quick story of the so called cool kids and stereotypical cool kids. Then goes on to talk about leaving school and lurking late. Back in 1950, when the poem was written, the cool kids did not have a curfew and stayed out as late as they wanted. Hence the line; ?we lurk late.? ?The Coora Flower? has a soft and subtle tone to it. From the first line to the last there is no real excitement, just a scared and bored girl reluctant to go home. The first stanza sets you up for the boring school life of a girl, then goes deeper into her personal life. ?It was restful, learning nothing necessary,? shows us a bored girl not very excited about school. Then once you read more you come to find out that the tone changes from bored to scared. The last stanza changes it all to being scared once she says ?My mother will be screaming in an almost dirty dress.? Now you see her reluctantly going home to her mom and her mothers drug dealer. With that in mind the speaker plays one of the biggest roles to these poems one with a single person and another for a group as a whole.

?The Coora Flower? has a girl speaker because it gives us a view of the fragility and the elegance of a girl. But in ?We Real Cool? there is no one speaker, and we know this because Gwendolyn uses we in the beginning of every statement. Like a group just adding their own words and their own thoughts to the poem. It is not any one person?s feelings but a group as a whole and all of their feelings tied into one. Whereas in ?The Coora Flower? she uses one girl to say all of her own thoughts; and not in a collective group. It is not just because she is a girl it is because she has a particular situation and only a girl could really portray the situation as bad as it is and still fit.

Both poems are written by a very good and well known writer Gwendolyn Brooks. They both talk about the same thing but paint two completely different pictures. She shows you with her use of imagery ,tone and the use of two different types of speakers to just help her along even more. But they are still just two poems with two different paths.