Reviews of Bald Ambition
 
David Hill is not a Modern poet. He's not Post-Modern either. He's well... would you believe: Georgian, with a bit of Betjeman? No one writes like David Hill outside of the Greeting Card industry, but they don't do it so sincerely, or so oddly well... 
What to make of the metronomic, verse-perfect, totally British self-published new collection Bald Ambition? (Hill is a "bit bald" as he himself explains) Some of the poems here are so arch, poised and tight they suggest an archery exhibit about to explode upwards. Some ache with a kind of adolescent lonelyhearts rhetoric so maudlin it would be comic if it weren't... bathetic? 
You read David Hill for the pure rush of encountering a kind of poem that you just can't get anywhere else: it says what it means, thank you very much, and even makes comments about life, the world, everything, including the weather and writing letters and, yes, oral pleasure. 
Without a doubt, David Hill is the master of the polite, acerbic lyric, and he is doing something kinky with his fetishizing of rigid form and middle-class mores that might just be Larkinesque, except that Hill is less deceived. And sometimes funnier. 
"Cunning Linguist" is the most outrè self-promotion I have ever read, as Hill outrageously brags in a ballad of his tongue's godlike powers over the labia: "Well, I met a girl of stunning capability/ Who was anxious to display her oral skill./ Well, her organs had the requisite agility/ But she couldn't really rival Mr. Hill." 
Who can? Having boxed himself in to the painted corner of his own little excellence, he's a specimen to ponder at will. "We've got some to work to do, now" is one of the best Scooby Doo poems ever written, and "Letters" one of the worst, about, well, letters. Within the walls of his sugar coat, Hill will astound and appal and delight; and sometimes, for his honesty, move.
This book may be, but shouldn't be, missed, if you can help it. It will break ice at parties, for better - and for worse.
- Agent 

DAVID HILL’s are mainly satirical or even flippant poems, using colloquial language: “she’s just my cup of tea”; “I’m knackered and I think I’m catching flu”. Stanza and rhyme forms sometimes recall Betjeman, but the outlook is sharper, more modern. “Beatitudes” takes a very cynical view of Christian virtues. Rhyme is frequently allowed its head; “prettiness/grittiness”, “earth troll/birth toll”, “diatribe/higher tribe” are the more extreme examples. Sometimes it works, and sometimes irritates this reader, at least. Yet occasionally genuine feeling is handled straight and can be moving: “But oh, the months, the troubled sleep,/ The bashful walks, the burning eyes -/ It’s part of you. You’re in too deep./ Go back to her. Apologise.” (“In Disgrace”).
- Iota 

The true persona of the author is buried in a mass of skilful dry humour over a wide range of subject matter (...) He is a dab hand at staccato iambic and has a nice line in local, national and social comparison (...) Generally a consistent collection in style and metre with see-through horse-sense quiddities backing the quips.
- New Hope International

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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