Mallika Sengupta

(27 March 1960 - 28 May 2011 / Nadia, West Bengal / India)

TELL US MARX - Poem by Mallika Sengupta

She spun rhymes, wove blankets
The Dravidian woman who sowed wheat
In the Aryan man's fields, reared his kids
If she isn't a worker, then what is work?

Tell us Marx, who is a worker, who isn't
New industrial workers with monthly wages
Are they the only ones who work?
Slum life is the Industrial Age's gift
To the worker's housewife
She draws water, mops floors, cooks food
After the daily grind, at night
She beats her son and weeps
She too is not a worker!
Then tell us Marx, what is work?

Since housework is unpaid labour, will women simply
Sit at home and cook for the revolutionary
And comrade is he alone who upholds hammer and sickle?
Such injustice does not become You

If ever there's a revolution
There'll be heaven on earth
Classless, stateless, in that enlightened world
Will women then become the handmaidens of revolution?

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 24, 2018

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