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(19 July 1902 - 13 May 1962 / Birkenhead, England)

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The Man In The Bowler Hat

I am the unnoticed, the unnoticable man:
The man who sat on your right in the morning train:
The man who looked through like a windowpane:
The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting
Morning pipe smoke.
I am the man too busy with a living to live,
Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch:
The man who is patient too long and obeys too much
And wishes too softly and seldom.

I am the man they call the nation's backbone,
Who am boneless - playable catgut, pliable clay:
The Man they label Little lest one day
I dare to grow.

I am the rails on which the moment passes,
The megaphone for many words and voices:
I am the graph diagram,
Composite face.

I am the led, the easily-fed,
The tool, the not-quite-fool,
The would-be-safe-and-sound,
The uncomplaining, bound,
The dust fine-ground,
Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round


Submitted by Stephen Fryer

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Friday, March 28, 2014


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Comments about this poem (Discovery by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond )

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  • Nika Mcguin (3/25/2014 1:41:00 PM)

    The dust fine-ground,
    Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round

    beautiful imagery here. And as a rock collector at heart I really appreciate the waveworn pebble-round bit.

    0 person liked.
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  • Michelle Claus (3/25/2014 12:40:00 PM)

    Love the various ways in which the poet defines his anonymous subject. I admire several of the examples, but especially the colour of the mounting morning pipe smoke. The final stanza sings! ! On a light note, Dr. Seuss's Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose comes to mind. I will definitely read more poetry by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond.

  • Gajanan Mishra (3/25/2014 6:42:00 AM)

    composite face, I like it.

  • Tim Stensloff (3/25/2012 7:38:00 AM)

    I am the rails on which a moment passes. Very cool line and image there.

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