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Human Selfishness In Building The Nation By Henry Barlow

"I drove the Permanent Secretary back
He yawned many times in back of the car
Then to keep awake, he suddenly asked,
Did you have any lunch, friend?
I replied looking straight ahead
And secretly smiling at his belated concern
That I had not, but was slimming!" (according to stanza 3 of the poem)

The stanza has a crystal clear picture of human selfishness where the so-called superiors always exercise their supremacy without considering the fact that all human are human and should be granted some degree of equality not in a mockery form. The poem speaker felt that the PS asked if the driver had eaten, not because he cared but needed conversation to keep awake through the journey; he tagged his concern "belated" because he asked when there wouldn't be any means to satisfy the driver's hunger.

The overall context of the poem (from start to finish) was based on selfishness when those appointed to serve the masses are larvishing the national treasury, selfishly attending unnecessary tea meetings to feather their own nests.

Building The Nation is an evergreen poem of Henry Barlow, an Ugandan poet who was once a Permanent Secretary. Personal experience gave him the right recipes to cook a delicious poem as this.


Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying up high)

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