I love hearing Gwendolyn Brooks reading "We Real Cool" because she does it in her own way, a way I never imagined when I first came upon that poem in high school English. Too many of us did not get to hear that poem being read in high school, and far too many didn't read another poem by Brooks because "We Real Cool" was the only one they ever put into our textbooks (it sounds like she was pretty sick of reading it too). Perhaps that's changed since the 70s; I hope so.
The Bean Eaters
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
But keep on putting on their clothes
And putting things away.
And remembering ...
Remembering with twinklings and twinges,
As they lean over the beans in their rented back room that
is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths,
tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.
3 hours ago