The assigned reading covered the important topic of rhythm in poetry. The material was a bit technical as well as non-technical. Most of the concepts that were covered had to do with rhythmic stress and meter. As I was reading about this, I remembered how I mentioned that Eminem seemed to manipulate his writing to somewhat “force” a rime; Eminem cleverly arranged his lyrics to accentuate the words. As a result, I sort-of kept “Lose Yourself” in the back of my mind as I was going through this chapter.
Early on in the chapter, Kennedy/Gioia throw one of my favorite poems: “We Real Cool” by Gwendelyn Brooks. Prior to reading this chapter, I thought of the poem a little differently. When I read it, I thought of this poem as just what it is — a poem about youth that submits to their vices. After gaining a little insight on meter and rhythm, I re-read this poem very differently.
PRIOR to the commentary with Gwendelyn, I thought of the “We” in the poem to portray uncertainty. My reasoning is that since teenagers tend to be a bit unsecure of their identity, they make a lot of extraordinary claims. In this poem, they are not excessive. However, if we pause when “We” is read, it becomes obvious that these claims are uncertain. The youth does do all this, but they are unsure if it indeed makes them cool. While they do participate in other things, they are unsure if it is really as great as they thought it was going to be.
This poem reminded me of how two friends talk to each other about their vacations. As one of them is making a claim to the other, they question whether or not what they thought was once note-worthy really is. Similarly, I think of these as teenage boys hanging out but not being sure if it was too wise for them to be doing all this. Afterall, they are unsure if they are to “die soon” and may have to deal with the consequences of skipping school.