As the old saying goes, “April showers brings May flowers,” and for those interested in poetry, April reigns as National Poetry Month. During the month of April, the Metropolitan State University Library wishes to encourage patrons to engage in the emotional journey that poetry has to offer. Therefore, to promote poetry month, the library will be hosting both a poetry reading and a poetry contest.
When people ask me about poetry, I always tell them, the best part about poetry is that the real world is there in plain black and white waiting for us to take it in with all our senses, all our hearts, and all our minds. However, the most daunting part about poetry is that roses are not always red, violets are not always blue and the real world is there in plain black and white waiting for us to take it in with all our senses, all our hearts, and all our minds.
In the spirit of National Poetry Month, I would like to share a poem written by one of the great African-American, female poets of the Twentieth Century, Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks. The poem is titled “We Real Cool.” When I first read this poem as a young man in my late teens, it had a profound impact on me because I was at such a turbulent crossroads in my life. As I read the poem, I felt as if Brooks had peered into the window of my world and taken a snapshot. Fortunately for me, I found Brooks’ poem during this chaotic time and heeded the poem’s warning.
With no further ado, I’d like to dedicate the following poem to my friends that passed away in the spring of their lives—may they rest in peace.
We Real Cool
By Gwendolyn Brooks: 1917- 2000
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
Don’t forget about the poetry reading this evening (5 – 6) in the Gordon Parks Gallery at the opening reception for Born of Fire: Selections from Foci- Minnesota Center for Glass Art.
Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram to learn more about the upcoming free verse poetry contest that starts next week.
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