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Books of Brooks’ Poems
Brittney Moreno, Alex Moreno, Adee Peer, Kalyani Aboud,
Megan Nakamae, Bella Verdugo
“All Summer in a Day” tells a story of a nine year old girl named Margot. Her, along with other children, live on Venus,
where it rains every day for seven years straight. The rain stops only for two hours out of the seven years, and the sun has it’s
chance to shine down on the people of Venus. Margot knows about the sun because she lived on Earth five years before moving
to Venus. She tells the other kids what the sun is like but they do not believe her. To put her down, they lock her in the closet. The
sun comes out not too long after and the kids are overjoyed with the sun’s brightness. Everything that Margot told them the sun
would be like is true. That is when they realize that she is still in the closet.
Bradbury, Ray. "All Summer in a Day." EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Brooks, author of “Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress Toward”, describes four kinds of negative people. He writes,
“down-keepers”, “sun-slappers”, “self-soilers”, and “harmony-hushers” (Brooks). Each one of these people is a master in the
degree of negativity. There are the putter-downs, the gloomy people, those who put themselves down, and the problem causer. He
writes that when coming across these kind of people, tell them to be happy and that life is too short to not enjoy it. Brooks gives
the message that though you are not ready to accept the bright and happy things in life, you cannot always be negative.
Brooks, Gwendolyn. "Speech to the Young: Speech to the Progress Toward."PoemHunter. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
The poem starts off with a girl named Sadie and another named Maud. Sadie defies all standards that are ideal during this
time period (the 40’s). Sadie, being African American, is already looked down upon. The birth of her two new children forces an
even bigger judgement on her by society; especially without a father. She puts herself along with her family into shame with all
this going on. Despite all these things, she is happy.
On the other hand, Maud follows society’s rules. She goes off to college and is successful in the eyes of her parents and
people around her. Though she is well educated and meets standards, she lacks happiness in life. Maud conforms to society but
that does not guarantee a joyous life.
"Sadie and Maud by Gwendolyn Brooks." PoemHunter.Com - Thousands of Poems and Poets.. Poetry Search Engine. N.p., n.d.
Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
“We Real Cool” gives the thoughts or perspectives of the young men playing pool. They think of themselves as high
in social “totem pole”. They describe how cool they are by listing off the things they do or have done. They say the
mischievous tasks they do that affect their lives negatively such as dropping out of school or doing things they shouldn’t be at
night. In the end, these seven young men die young. Karma.
"We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks." PoemHunter.Com - Thousands of Poems and Poets.. Poetry Search Engine. N.p., n.d.
Web. 29 Apr. 2014.
Relation to Post-Modernism
How does your particular work reflect the characteristics of post-modern American
• Sadie and Maud: The poem is a paradox. The 2 characters are opposites, meaning
that one was more successful than the other. Maud went to college while Sadie
stayed at home dealing with hair care.
• Speech to the Young: It is similar to the ideas of post WWII. After WWII, people
were striving for equality among the people, as well as just enjoying life. Brooke
states this in the poem that we need to live life to the fullest and that we need to
cherish the present. The poem was aimed toward African Americans.
• We Real Cool: This poem is also a paradox because the 7 boys are calling
themselves lucky, when in reality, they do not have an education(they skip school)
and do illegal activity. The number 7 is supposed to be lucky. The boys are
assumed to be members of a gang and therefore need to rely on luck. This poem
Brooks’ poem “Speech to the Young: Speech to the
Progress-Toward” compares to Bradbury’s “All Summer
in a Day.” Brooks advises the youth who she is writing to
to live in the moment, not to hold on to the past or hope
for the future but to enjoy the day. In the story “All
Summer in a Day,” the kids are ecstatic about the sun
making an appearance. Although they do look forward to
this moment before it happens, when it does take place,
they run around and embrace the sun until it goes away
Brooks was influenced by the civil rights oppression that was current in the 60’s.
She being an African American, had a huge struggle with all the segregation and
the prevalent racism. There was a strive for equal education and equal
independence. In her poem “Sadie and Maud” Maud is considered successful
because she attended college, however, since she does not have a kids like
Saide she is unsuccessful. The Saide on the other hand has two babies and no
education. Yet she is also considered a failure. During the civil rights movement
the schools were segregated. The colored schools were not as good as the white schools due to
lack of materials, teachers, and funding. A big struggle for the African American population was
integrating colored schools and white schools together. So that everyone was equal and had an
equal education. This was demonstrated when Maud went to college. This was difficult for an
African American woman in the 60’s era to attend and graduate college. However, since the
beginning of time it has always been expected of women to raise a family. While Sadie has a
family by herself. Back then both were unheard of. The whole point of civil rights is so that
everyone can be equal; That it shouldn’t matter what color your skin is to get a good education
and that it shouldn’t matter what gender you are to be independent. With both rights exemplified in
this poem, thus, Brooks was influenced by the civil rights movement.
using the applied characteristics, the relevant analysis on concrete evidence used to support your information, and the relating
work(s), develop a statement that provides a summative conclusion - the overall so what statement.
In Sadie and Maud it reflects the different paths peoples lives go through from the choices made.
Sadie had children but never got an education. Maud had an education but she was alone, she
had no family of her own. This story makes it a point to question whether we can have both, family
and education. Can we have both?
In Speech to the Young it talks about the children, more specifically the children who do not want to
grow up. You can’t avoid it, might as well embrace it.
In We Real Cool two boys consider themselves lucky even though they are wasting their lives by
not going to school and being in a gang. Even if its your opinion what you're doing is cool, doesn't
necessarily mean it is. Even though you may think you're lucky for having a good life doesn't
for your interest in this