Kaiser Haq: Emerging Transnational Poet of Bangladesh


  • Tahmina Ahmed


This essay attempts to locate Kaiser Haq (1950-), the foremost Bangladeshi poet in the English language, in the wider arena of transnational literature. Transnational literature could be regarded as a movement away from diasporic and postcolonial writing. It is the production by poets and writers from various geographical locations and ethnicities who are united by their choice of creative medium, i.e. English. These poet-writers have lived and moved around in more than one nation and experienced a unique diversity in life which they depict in their writings. Globalisation and connectivity through technological development have led to an expansion of readers and availability of texts. Kaiser Haq says that ultimately any literary work is “bound to go on-line†(Ahmed) and he is ready to accept that. Haq’s famous poem “Ode on the Lungi,†illustrates how a poet can cross boundaries and appeal to a variety of people who share common concerns and viewpoints. In this poem, Haq effortlessly moves from a Bangladeshi man “swimming in a lungi/ abbreviated into a G-string†to a list of similar garments used by men of other nations and given other names. Finally, he uses it to criticise the hypocrisy and undemocratic behaviour of the Europeans and Americans. After discussing the concept of literary transnationalism, this paper will examine Haq’s poems to discover the features of transnationalism present in them.


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How to Cite

Ahmed, T. (2018). Kaiser Haq: Emerging Transnational Poet of Bangladesh. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 12(1), 126–143. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/1213



Section II: Articles and Interviews on Bangladeshi Writing in English