Reconciliation by Adam GettyReconciliation by Adam Getty


byAdam Getty

Paperback | March 5, 2003

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In poems that are both world-weary yet suffused with a moral force, Adam Getty gives us the perspective of the common man, but gives it in an uncommon voice -- a voice of quiet, contemplative directness tinged with the fierce integrity of one who has lived the experience.

Reconciliation, Adam Getty's first book-length collection of poems, is a work of astounding maturity and depth. In poems of uncompromising honesty and gritty realism, he captures the experiences of hardworking industrial labourers, poor families and the homeless, and grapples not only with the physical toll of such lives but also with the internal conflicts that arise under such demanding conditions. Getty's vision does not end at the realism of the Hot Mill and the slaughterhouse -- there is a visionary quality to these tough, visceral poems that intimates a staunchly held belief in something more than the physical trials one must endure through life. In the tradition of People's Poetry, but with an added mystical dimension impressively realized, Adam Getty renders in poems both stark and vivid the human spirit that rises above, and sometimes falls beneath, the weight of life's circumstances.
Adam Getty was born in Toronto and currently lives in Hamilton, Ontario. He has had his poetry published in journals in both the USA and Canada. His first full length book, Reconciliation, won the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first book of poetry and was shortlisted for the 2003 Trillium Award. Repose was cited as one of the ...
Title:ReconciliationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:88 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.19 inPublished:March 5, 2003Publisher:Nightwood EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889711879

ISBN - 13:9780889711877

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Read from the Book

MAMA,I no longer fear you.In this seething tumultthat rises to my throat,stings my eyes,I am not afraid:lovingly cuppedin your black hands, cradledin your disastrous arms.Cast me adrift: I will stillride your knees. Drown meand I'll swallow you.Starve me, dispossess me:it is you who trickleout the windows of my skull,down its bloated hills.Take this tiny vessel of beingand shatter itagainst the rocks that hem you in;it is you I slide into.No, Mama,I am not afraid.LEAVETAKINGIt is years since I first learned to think throughthis sad-eyed image, his scream suspendedbetween us. I see him now in dusty lanes,between sagging houses, in a Galilean village,perhaps Cana, after a wedding,or Capernaum, looking for fishermen.For just a moment he stops, closes his eyesand feels his feet, cracked and worn like leather;he notices spasms in his thighs andhears a groan no longer confusedwith the complaints of others. Hand is liftedto brow and the fingers tingle withwhat feels like blood but is sweat. He turnsto look at the multitudes but the airbetween them is crowded with heat. Thena cool wind comes down from Galilee,bringing with it the salty taste of whimsy:he announces to the throng that he willgo to the stand of olive treesoutside town to pray. Stepping away,he forbids even close friends to follow, for thisis a new request -- kneeling amongshafts of darkened lightclosing his eyes to the humof the wind through leaves to still himself,this image imagines he has fled:the green sheaves rush at him, pouring waterinto an emptied cup. He breakssnails in their olive shells between his teeth,agitated, longing to strip everything awayand plunge, naked, into the waters. Like the snail,he knows the long, patient crawl and dragof the sea, the deep silence belowthe thrashing surface. But Cephas will comein his little boat of humanity, with the firmness --not the stillness -- of a rock, a chainfor his neck, saying: Be this,or nothing--I will drag you to every cornerof the suffering earth. The image pulledto float on the service of the raging waves.

Editorial Reviews

"In this impressive debut volume, Hamilton poet Adam Getty writes of the working-class struggle of the inhabitants of that industrial city-the stuggle for survival and for respect... He sets out to revive not the rhyme schemes and stanzaic forms of English traditions, but its high seriousness, its striving toward beauty."
-Colin Morton, ARC