The Man In The Bowler Hat
by A.S.J. Tessimond

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 castgut, 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
The man in the bowler hat
The speaker of this poem is a working class Caucasian male, probably about 20-40 years of age. He has some education as he wears a bowler hat usually worn by lower to middle class citizens. He is the symbol of the average worker in the 1920s, a prime example of how our jobs and society shapes and molds us into conformists, all too afraid to strike out into the world and unleash our own personal potentials.
He is portrayed as the kind of person whom you could walk past and not even take note of or gain an impression of. This is shown by “the unnoticeable man” as well as the subsequent 3 lines enforcing the point that he could be someone you pass by everyday but not even notice.
His morality and psychology is that of someone who not a risk-taker and afraid of stepping out of his supposed comfort zone of mundane daily activities. This is shown by “patient too long and obeys too much” and “wishes too softly and seldom”.
He has the maturity, knowledge and mindset that understand the mistakes he is committing as well as the flaws in his character. This is shown by “too busy with a living to live”, “Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch” and “am boneless”.
He also knows the role he plays in society as well as the limitations society places on him. This is shown by “nation’s backbone” and “label Little lest one day I dare to grow”.
Lastly, he knows that he is merely a tool that will do whatever the higher-ups want him to do without receiving the majority of the credit. This is shown by “megaphone for many words and voices” and the entire last stanza, especially “stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round”.