“We Are Not Responsible” by Harryette
Mullen and “The Day Lady Died” by Frank O’Hara are two poems that related
directly to the authors thoughts of some facts. Regarding the inspiration, the former is the common rules and issues
Mullen gathered in daily life with a high frequency while the latter is aroused
by a post Frank O’Hara saw accidently.
Although she is an emerging poet, Mullen
received a literature award from the Black Arts Academy, which represented her
extraordinary achievement. And in the poem “We Are Not Responsible”, Mullen was
influenced by the social, political, and cultural movements.
Harryette Mullen employed
much commonly–used format, and lots of repetition in the poem “We Are Not Responsible,” she had used a
way to put forward and uncover many underlying and transparent rules and norms
of the society, which may be the relative issues that every single one would
face. When see this poem for the first time, the format gave me and most easy
point to catch, which is also the most noticeable part of “We Are Not Responsible.”
Due to the poem is neither use the most familiar format for example stanzas
structure nor it used any kind of meter, even not really complicated
organization. It is only clarified into just one single paragraph which is
The first sentence “We are not responsible for
your lost or stolen relatives,” really made me felt like in a crowded zoo or
amusement park and the administer or the guider said we must mind our people
around us by ourselves. Unlike other disclaimers usually would present in this
format with “your lost or stolen goods or items”, this poem uses the word
“relatives”, which leave a very unforgettable impression to the listeners.
Mullen use this word in this sentence emphasize a possible image that if the
listener’s relative is lost in reality then where could they may be going
likely and what will happen to the lost people all alone, and in what way the
victim’s relative can be found and come back. It’s a way to leave it unsolved
and is open for interpretation as well. The repetition of “we” and
“your” is very vague range, and can resulted to other’s though of that “we” may
be refers to a powerful governing team which in charge of a large group of
people. This group of people is not slight care about the lost people, the lost
possessions and the lost right.
is one line said “Your ticket does not guarantee that we will honor your
reservations.”, which underlying set up an image of the ticket keeper is
rejected when he shows it to the workers. The word “does not” directly organize
a tone for the other words in this line as indifferent and cold. Since the
keeper had this ticket then he is permit and he or she should have the right to
possess the reservations.