Nocture In Chrome And Sunset Yellow

Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Salt Publishing (15 July 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1844712621
ISBN-13: 978-1844712625
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 21.3 x 13.8 cm

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‘A vital, luminous collection...The hallmarks of Hill’s style are subtle, but inimitable...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

‘One impressive aspect of these poems is how even the poems on domestic affairs connect to wider concerns. They don’t preach about the state of urban humanity, but render it visible, open it to enquiry, and often pierce the heart.’

Rob Mack, Surroundings

‘I could continue to eulogise about Hill's vivid imagery and elegant rhythm, but what struck me most about this collection is its effect upon me, the reader; these urban fairytales ignite the sparks of poetry in a previously ‘ordinary’ world.’

Rob Mack, Surroundings

‘A quite lovely unassuming sympathy for the lives it observes in a passing London scene, and a sense of true storytelling that lifts the whole collection.’

John Muckle, Shearsman

‘Hill was new to me but I felt an immediate connection. No Londoner, past, present or would-be, can be unaffected by his lyricism, gentle rhythmic tone, simple yet sensual language, economy of method, rhyme and delicate but powerful affection for this city.’

Brian Cole, Ink Sweat & Tears


Zoo is Tobias Hill’s third collection of poems. It shows the growing maturity of a voice already distinctive three years ago, when his second collection was noted for its “grand irony and playful humour, with episodes of tenderness and even charm.”

Hill’s poems combine narrative impetus with musical lyricism. Influenced by the poetry of Japan and the paintings of Edward Hopper, they are full of intense sounds, smells and visions. Often through a nocturnal eye, Hill describes an urban-pastoral landscape, full of the greenhouse luxurience of city flora, fauna and humanity.


Magnolia Flowers.

In the dark
lightbulbs are opening.

The cats are out
hunting for blackbirds
through the green earthwires
of long grasses.

The trees are slight.
They are weighed down with blackbirds
which drink the sound of water
out of white bowls.

The water is cold and sweet
with magnolia pollen.
The mouths of the blackbirds
burn with it
like fusewires.

The cats hunt what they can.
The sight of burning mouths,
the sound of spilt water.