Brooks portrays the life of seven ordinary teenage high school dropouts. In "We Real Cool" she wrote the poem in only eight short lines. Every word is one syllable. It contains alliteration in the words, Strike Straight and Jazz June. The rhythm within the poem is spondaic, which is one unstressed and two stressed. The word "We", begins and ends each line excluding the last. The "We's" are tiny, wispy, and weakly argumentative. Critic Katherine V. Lindberg stated, "The simple, but strong and regular rhythm, reinforced by the nonstandard grammar, creates a sense of energy and aggressive physical power." The first stanza has more meaning than one would think, according to critic Gary Smith. Smith states the number "seven" signifies the teenagers luck as pool players, "golden" implies youthful arrogance. However, "shovel" reminds the reader of death and burial. Brooks gives the reader insight into the life of a teenage high school dropout. These pool players think they are "cool", but have no education and nothing going for them. Brooks wanted to prove to her readers that these teenagers do not live a "cool" life. They will die soon, and ultimately live unproductive lives.