Rhyme (1)

Rhyme in Dylan Thomas’s The Hunchback in the Park

The hunchback in the park
A solitary mister
Propped between trees and water
From the opening of the garden lock
That lets the trees and water enter
Until the Sunday sombre bell at dark
Eating bread from a newspaper
Drinking water from the chained cup
That the children filled with gravel
In the fountain basin where I sailed my ship
Slept at night in a dog kennel
But nobody chained him up.
Like the park birds he came early
Like the water he sat down
And Mister they called Hey mister
The truant boys from the town
Running when he had heard them clearly
On out of sound
Past lake and rockery
Laughing when he shook his paper
Hunchbacked in mockery
Through the loud zoo of the willow groves
Dodging the park keeper
With his stick that picked up leaves.
And the old dog sleeper
Alone between nurses and swans
While the boys among willows
Made the tigers jump out of their eyes
To roar on the rockery stones
And the groves were blue with sailors
Made all day until bell time
A woman figure without fault
Straight as a young elm
Straight and tall from his crooked bones
That she might stand in the night
After the locks and chains
All night in the unmade park
After the railings and shrubberies
The birds the grass the trees the lake
And the wild boys innocent as strawberries
Had followed the hunchback
To his kennel in the dark.

5. Rhyme (1)

(A Flash Fiction Writing Session from The Safe House)

photo.PNG-1This session is about rhyme.

Rhyme has been used in all sorts of writing, whether for reading aloud or listening to in your head. It’s about the sound.


Look out of a window or inside your mind. Grab four words and create a rhyme. Follow this process, let’s see what flows and you can decide if it’s poetry or prose.


The stimulus is the activity above. Here it is again:

01 rhyme page stimulus

The stimulus is the result of the activity. The process is the means by which the result comes about.

You are the writer, though, and you should use the process to create your own result. You can omit, redo, revisit, edit each part of the process to fit with your ideas.

You, the writer, will decide.

Word count and process

The stimulus is exactly 30 words. When we’re dealing with rhyme, we might think about rhythm too. They often work in tangent. This will affect the number of words you use. Now is  not the time to go into metre, rhythm, tempo or beat, but at least we might say that these 30 words make up a verse.

Thirty words. A single verse with four lines and two rhymes. It could be extended. You could make your own and use the process to develop your writing further.

The process could go something like this:

  • Look through a window or into your mind.

This part can be done any time and pretty much anywhere. You need to stop what you’re doing, though, and use time just to look. And think a bit.

Decide whether there’s anything you want to write about that is going on through the window. Maybe there’s nothing that motivates you. Maybe there’s no window. If either of these things is true, you will need to go into your mind. As you know, there are infinite possibilities there!

Whichever you choose – through the window, into your mind, or a combination of the two,

  • select and write down two words to use in creating your piece.

For example:

02 image window process

  • Write a short sentence using each word.

This is a part of the session where you, the writer, need to take charge and create. Use a pen and paper, a memo or note taking app, a computer. Write two sentences. For example:

03 image original 2 sentences

  • Take the last word of each sentence and note them somehow like this:

04 image mind flows

  • Wrack your brains and list as many words as you can think of that rhyme with the last word of one of your sentences. Do the same with the other sentence.

For example:

05 image with list

  • Choose one word from each list.

Choose words that you like, that fit, that sound right, that work.

  • Now have a go.

Write a sentence that ends in one of these words. Put this sentence with the sentence your new sentence rhymes with. Read what you have written. Revise, edit, rewrite as required. Do the same thing with your second word and one of the rhyming words you noted.

  • If things don’t work out, you can scrap stuff. Read, re-read, rewrite, delete, revise, edit. Read, re-read, rewrite, delete, revise, edit.

For example:

06 image corrections

  • Spend time proof-reading for any spelling, punctuation and grammar problems and check it makes sense. Make sure you would be happy for other people to read it.
  • Leave it for a while and then come back and edit it one more time. For lots of different reasons, you might want to change some of the other words in your piece. At some point, though, you should remind yourself to stop.
  • Save what you have written.

For example:

07 image complete page

What next?

Realms of Gold Hand written manuscriptIf you feel like it, or if you want some ideas about how you can develop what you have written, you could share it by sending it to The Safe House at:


Here at The Safe House we will give you feedback to support you in what you are creating!