Sunday, 6 January 2013

At the Gym


This salt-stain spot
marks the place where men
lay down their heads,
back to the bench,

and hoist nothing
that need be lifted
but some burden they've chosen
this time: more reps,

more weight, the upward shove
of it leaving, collectively,
this sign of where we've been:
shroud-stain, negative

flashed onto the vinyl
where we push something
unyielding skyward,
gaining some power

at least over flesh,
which goads with desire,
and terrifies with frailty.
Who could say who's

added his heat to the nimbus
of our intent, here where
we make ourselves:
something difficult

lifted, pressed or curled,
Power over beauty,
power over power!
Though there's something more

tender, beneath our vanity,
our will to become objects
of desire: we sweat the mark
of our presence onto the cloth.

Here is some halo
the living made together.

In the poem “At the Gym” by Mark Doty we are given a visualization of a person at the gym about to lift weights. This poem has various different meanings. It’s a poem with a bit confusion about whom he wants to tell what .One thing that Doty is trying to say through this poem is that what impact we leave on society any why. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be remembered or leaving a legacy behind but it is what we are actually leaving that Doty is touching on. He used the word “stain” twice to describe what we have left and will leave, “stain”, a word commonly having a negative connotation to it. We want to leave an impression, but are only leaving behind stains. In the last two lines of the poem, Doty calls the stains “some halo the living made together” A halo, compared to stains, has a pretty positive connotation to it, as if we have reached sainthood. This is what we hope to reach, this is what we hope to leave behind, but it is that bench of false hope we rely on to do so. Doty is asking us to live a life worth living and do things that need to be done, then, and only then will you actually leave behind a legacy worth remembering, one with noble intent. In a very deep meaning the poet has tried telling giving a deeper meaning for what we human beings always want and try to do.

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