Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Tuesday, 25 September 2001

"Zoo" by Tobias Hill (Oxford Poets, 1998)

I used to think that Hill was good just at churning out standard modern poetry, able to write the kind of pieces that judges would like. I can still see traces of features which made me think that, but even if it was true, it isn't any more. Synaesthesia still makes for easy metaphor ("blackbirds which drink the sound of water") though there seems less of a desire to tart up observation with pat metaphor - "Giraffes with swimming-pool skin" is better than "taking little sips of sleep/while sunlight spills across the floor". The Pilot in Winter impressed me. While reading The Patron Saint of Prisoners I wondered about the line-breaks then realised that the couplets rhymed, though so loosely it's hardly worth it.

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