- Publisher: Salt Publishing
- Format: Paperback | 80 pages
- Dimensions: 134mm x 208mm x 8mm | 118g
- Publication date: 30 July 2006
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 1844712621
- ISBN 13: 9781844712625
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 995,857
In this latest collection of poems, Hill invokes people and place, mythologizing and demythologizing city lives as they are led. From poignant vignettes and celebrations to urban-pastoral and elegy, these poems extend Hill's romance with London's psychic and surreal fabric. Selected as a Next Generation poet, Hill continues to delight us with sensuous observation and imaginative embrace.
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Selected as one of the country's Next Generation poets, shortlisted for the 2004 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and named by the TLS as one of the best young writers in the country, Tobias Hill is one of the leading British writers of his generation. His award-winning collections of poetry are Year of the Dog, Midnight in the City of Clocks, and Zoo. His fiction has been published to acclaim in many countries. AS Byatt has observed that "There is no other voice today quite like this."
In careful rhythms, the 21 poems of this British poet's fourth collection describe the "collision" of opposites that Londoners and other city dwellers live with daily: e.g., the city's smell of "Peking duck and piss." Repo-men and aging chess players, pigeons and Chinese supermarkets, sidewalk preachers and railway station bars all populate these neat stanzas. While echoing Larkin in his desire to look unflinchingly, Hill is ultimately more optimistic about the human condition. Many poems insist on some kind of sweetness, even a lost one, as in the penultimate section of "A Year in London," a poem with a section for each month; after suggesting bombs falling, the poem ends with fireworks: "[a]nd all that brilliance was ours / in our dreams that night." Hill also sounds at times like Frost, another polestar for plainspoken poets: describing a young couple fixing up an abandoned house, he writes, "[a]ll this was years ago. And now you're here, / the two of you scything the bittersweet." Occasionally, what Hill (Zoo, 1998) encounters in the contemporary world is so awful that only silence or disbelief are appropriate: "[t]he death toll mounts every morning. / It grows unspeakable." Publishers Weekly What Hill reveals to us in this vital, luminous collection is that 200 years later, collision is still the city's essential state. In a book-length love song to the fabulousness and ragged beauty of his native London, he considers the city through the lattice of physical and metaphorical dialectics - nature and manufacture, wealth and poverty, glamour and grime - that bring it to life. [...] It is rare to come across a collection of poetry that you know with certainty you will still be reading years from now, but for me, this is such a book. -- Sarah Crown The Guardian Salt has a real winner in Tobias Hill's Nocturne in Chrome & Sunset Yellow ... of your preference is for a poetry you share in, enter into imaginatively, then Hill is your man ... bringing London to life sensuously, giving it a real cosmopolitan lived-in feel. -- Matt Simpson Stride Magazine Tobias Hill's new collection announces its arrival as one such London-loving book from the first poem, written in a historical fiction genre. You can't help cheering the lust for life. [...] in one striking poem, 'Repossession', there's a marrying of storytelling (or backstory telling) with Hill's engaging conversational style. Surprisingly I think of Edward Thomas here. Like several of Thomas's poems, this is a text about depopulation and the casual, almost intimate rhythm, is especially effective. -- Richard Price The Scotsman
Table of contents
From the Diaries of Henry Morgan, Summer 1653 Repossession To a Boy on the Underground A Year in London January February March April May June July August September October November December TV Dinner Synthesis Gravity The Gifts The Nightworkers The Orator Amphibians The Lighthouse Keeper's Cat Five Ways of Looking at my Grandfather The Woman Who Likes Standing Under Trees in the Rain Nine in the Morning in the Station Bar Yellow A Bowl of Green Fruit The Wave Horse Chestnuts Summer Late Night Opening Nocturne