Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

At the Gym by Mark Doty

 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.

~ from Source (Harper-Collins, 2001)


website contents © copyright 2017 by Sharon Singer
with the exception of 'poems of the week' where © copyright remains with the poets or their publishers