The Hunchback in the Park
Thomas's poetry is so personal that it can hardly be classified under any of the modern poetic movements, although he is conventionally defined as a "new romantic". This is mainly due to his Welshness , a feature which plays an
important part in his poetic formation. It is also his Welshness that accounts for the musicality of his verse, the frequent use of internal rhymes and alliteration. He also used words for the sound of the word and the meaning that
that sound created. Wales also provided the background for some of Thomas's poems , as for instance The Hunchback in the Park (from the volume Deaths and Entrances), where the park is actually Cwmdonkin Park in Swansea, where Dylan used to go
and play as a child. The Hunchback in the Park is one of Thomas's clearest and most narrative-like poems. It is realistic in its description of the park; when the park opens its gates in the morning , the water and the trees in it returns to life, after the night rest, through the eyes of the visitors that enter the park. When it closes at night, life seems to stop there in the surrounding darkness.
From the very first line, focus is on the solitary hunchback whose apparent inactivity is opposed by the frantic wild games of the boys roaring on the rocks like imaginary tigers. Derided and mocked , the man seems to find consolation only in a woman figure who is physically the opposite of what he is. Born out of his "cracked bones", she is straight and tall, probably a projection of an impossible dream of what he has always, painfully and vainly , longed to be. She will be there the day after, waiting for him in the same place although the park, by now "unmade", locks people out at night.
The whole poem can be read as a metaphor for the solitude of the artist and the power of the Imagination. Disregarded by most and even misunderstood , the artist lives, free, in a world of his own, where "nobody chains him up".
Although deprived of any material comfort, he can escape through the woman figure of Imagination, which will never desert him.