Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was an African-American poet. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Illinois in 1968 and Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1985.
Gwendolyn Elizabeth Brooks was born on June 7, 1917, in Topeka, Kansas, the first child of David Anderson Brooks and Keziah Wims. Her mother was a former school teacher who had chosen that field because she could not afford to attend medical school. (Family lore held that her paternal grandfather had escaped slavery to join Union forces during the American Civil War.) When Brooks was six weeks old, her family moved to Chicago, Illinois during the Great Migration; from then on, ... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Gwendolyn Brooks Poems
We Real Cool
We real cool. We Left school. We Lurk late. We Strike straight. We
Abortions will not let you forget. You remember the children you got that you did not get, The damp small pulps with a little or with no hair, The singers and workers that never handled the air.
To Be In Love
To be in love Is to touch with a lighter hand. In yourself you stretch, you are well. You look at things
The Crazy Woman
I shall not sing a May song. A May song should be gay. I'll wait until November And sing a song of gray.
Sadie and Maud
Maud went to college. Sadie stayed home. Sadie scraped life With a fine toothed comb.
The Bean Eaters
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair. Dinner is a casual affair. Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood, Tin flatware.
Speech to the Young : Speech to the Prog...
Say to them, say to the down-keepers, the sun-slappers, the self-soilers,
to the Diaspora
you did not know you were Afrika When you set out for Afrika you did not know you were going.
A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississi...
From the first it had been like a Ballad. It had the beat inevitable. It had the blood. A wildness cut up, and tied in little bunches, Like the four-line stanzas of the ballads she had never quite
My Dreams, My Works, Must Wait Till Afte...
I hold my honey and I store my bread In little jars and cabinets of my will. I label clearly, and each latch and lid I bid, Be firm till I return from hell.
A Sunset of the City
Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love. My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls, Are gone from the house. My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite
The Lovers of the Poor
arrive. The Ladies from the Ladies' Betterment League Arrive in the afternoon, the late light slanting In diluted gold bars across the boulevard brag Of proud, seamed faces with mercy and murder hinting
The Good Man
The good man. He is still enhancer, renouncer. In the time of detachment, in the time of the vivid heather and affectionate evil,
The Ballad of Rudolph Reed
Rudolph Reed was oaken. His wife was oaken too. And his two good girls and his good little man Oakened as they grew.
Quotationsmore quotations »
''I don't like the idea of the black race being diluted out of existence. I like the idea of all of us being here.''Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917), African American poet. As quoted in I Dream a World, by Brian Lanker (1989).
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
We Real Cool
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