“We Real Cool” is written in rhyming couplets, but these couplets appear in an unusual form. In a traditional couplet, the rhyme words come at the end of two successive lines. By contrast, in this poem, the rhyme words appear in the middle of each line. Put in the terminology of poetic analysis, Brooks uses internal rhyme instead of the more traditional end rhyme. The use of internal rhyme is significant for the way it helps create a syncopated rhythm. In music, syncopation occurs when a rhythm gets displaced in such a way that a strong beat becomes weak, and a weak beat becomes strong. Typically, when rhymes come at the end of a poetic line, they have more emphasis. That is, they create a stronger beat. However, by displacing the rhyme words so they occur in the middle of the line rather than the end, Brooks weakens the value of their beat. So, instead of a straightforward rhythm that flows, “We / Sing sin [beat],” Brooks forces the following syncopation: “[beat] Sing sin. We.” This subtle deemphasizing of the rhyme is precisely what makes the poem’s syncopated rhythm so effective.