[a] brilliant mixture of technical control and social protest
―Maurice Mireau, Winnipeg Free Press
And Adam Getty’s excellent book Repose, while similarly capturing elements of human construction and the hard work of physical labour, questions such sentiments. While there is a poetics to labour in these poems, there is also a great deal of agitation against mismanagement, against exploitation gone rife. The title poem reveals a speaker who is:
a red-breasted robin that’s never/ left the latticework of limbs and leaves/ for the deepening sky and now is severed/ by consuming fire and a thick corrupting sleeve/ of bitter smoke, smoked out as though a beetle/ had emerged from dark wood thrown on a rising fire.
Getty’s well-composed book examines the conditions of labour, of the human interaction with the world, and finds in them a world that is poetic, yet sorely lacking the self-awareness that would give it a strong sense of equity, of ecology, and of justice.
―The Dalhousie Review
Getty’s poems are as deeply lodged in his literary and scholarly syllabus as they are entrenched in the industrial stench of Hamilton, with its wreckages, steel mills and slaughterhouses … [his] deployment of traditional forms, prophetic rhetoric and classical allusions would appear to go hand in hand with his resistance to the desecrations of modernity, his desire to return to, or at least to retain the illusion of, a more gracious era.
―Catherine Owen, Canadian Notes & Queries
[Getty’s poems] juxtapose the mythic and quotidian so as to forge a practical spirituality that bears witness equally to the prophet and the prostitute.
-Emily Carr, Canadian Literature
Getty has created a collection of highly intelligent, deeply felt, and … beautifully written poems.
–Adrian Fowler, Journal of Canadian Poetry