At The Back Of Progress Poem by Taslima Nasrin

At The Back Of Progress

Rating: 3.9

The fellow who sits in the air-conditioned office
is the one who in his youth raped
a dozen or so young girls,
and, at cocktail parties, is secretly stricken with lust,
fastening his eyes on lovelies' bellybuttons.

In five-star hotels,
he tries out his different sexual tastes
with a variety of women,
then returns home and beats his wife
because of an over-ironed handkerchief or shirt collar.

In his office Mr. Big puffs on a cigarette,
shuffles through files,
rings for his employee
demands tea,
and returns to writing people's character references.

His employee speaks in such a low voice
that no one would ever suspect
how, at home, he also raises his voice,
is vile to his family
but with his buddies on the porch or at a movie
indulges in loud harangues on politics,
art, literature, and how some female -
his mother, grandmother, or great-grandmother -
committed suicide.

Bidding goodbye to his buddies,
he returns home,
beats his wife
over a bar of soap
or the baby's pneumonia.

Next day, at work, he pleasantly brings the tea,
keeps the lighter in his pocket,
receives a tip of a couple of taka,
and tells no one that he divorced his first wife for her sterility,
his second for giving birth to a daughter,
his third for not bringing a sufficient dowry.
Now, with wife number four, he again has someone:
To beat over a green chili or a handful of rice.

* Sunprincess * 05 June 2014

..........nicely written....wonder why these men aren't locked up for assault and battery? .....great write..

4 1 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 06 December 2016

Home. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

2 0 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 06 December 2016

Domestic violence...................................................................

2 0 Reply
Akham Nilabirdhwaja Singh 06 December 2016

Yet he prefers to be known as a perfect gentleman. A typical modern character.Fabulous!

2 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 03 June 2018

Woe Man! not woman Man in woe or awe No, no Narrow or broad wicked can borrow O no not man or woman only wicked can!

2 0 Reply
Jasbir Chatterjee 27 April 2020

A strong narrative and a haunting poem... Very similar to a passage from Khaled Hosseini's book The House of Splendid Suns. If only men like these could be punished, the world would be a much better place.

0 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 22 September 2019

The black side of the character and sadidist nature of wealthy men has been portrayed.

0 0 Reply
Jane Campion 16 August 2019

Sounds like many we know.

0 0 Reply
Adeeb Alfateh 07 July 2019

Bidding goodbye to his buddies, he returns home, beats his wife over a bar of soap or the baby's pneumonia. great write m'am great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

1 0 Reply
Paul Amrod 26 April 2019

Men of this sort won't make through the pearly gates and will receive a dwarf star as a habitat. Thanks for painting the picture as grim as it should be. Your courage is very commendable.

0 0 Reply
Taslima Nasrin

Taslima Nasrin

Mymensingh / Bangladesh
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