Gwendolyn Brooks
“Art is a refining and evocative translation of the materials of the world.“
– from “A Capsule Course in Black Poetry Writing”

Gwendolyn Brooks was born on the 7th of June, 1917 in Topeka, Kansas, but six weeks later her family moved to Chicago, where she spent almost the whole rest of her life. She was a very successful black woman. She was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Price for her book of poetry “Annie Allen”, which was published in 1949. She was made Poet Laureate of Illinois. A Poet Laureate is a poet assigned by the state to compose lyrics for governmental events. She wrote ballads, sonnets and blues lyrics about the poor life in Chicago. Her most popular poem is “We Real Cool” (written in 1966). In 1996 she returned to Topeka, where she died on the 3rd of December, 2000. Her legacy was the Illinois State Library in Springfield being renamed in Gwendolyn Brooks Illinois State Library.

Below “We Real Cool” is printed. The measure has purpose. Gwendolyn Brooks said in an interview:
“The “We” – you’re supposed to stop after the “We” and think about their validity, and of course there’s no way for you to tell whether it should be said softly or not, I suppose, but I say it rather softly because I want to represent their basic uncertainty, which they don’t bother to question every day, of course.”>

We Real Cool


We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Die soon.
Gwendolyn Brooks
Wissen verdoppelt sich, wenn man es teilt.
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