Nowadays, running is a serious business and we’re all busy recording our PBs on complicated watches. These poems remind us that there’s still plenty of fun to be had – whether navigating a forest trail before breakfast or lying in bed coming up with reasons not to go out at all.
There’s the familiar sight of a runner skirting shoppers in a busy street, leaving behind a trail of bemusement:
“Was that Paul? Was that Sue? unsure
whether the flickering figures half seen
from behind might have been
the friends they knew, or thought they knew.”
from ‘Runners in Town’ by Jenny King
The abiding spirit of the selection is that running remains the most democratic of sports – and that the main thing really is the taking part, be it in a 5K or a marathon or simply a trot around a local forest.
Poems by Helen Allison, Carole Bromley, Wanda Coleman, Mark Granier, Stephen Keeler, Jenny King, Glyn Maxwell, Eugene Ethelbert Miller, Mandy Sutter and David Wagoner.
Cover illustration by Hannah Forward.
📖 My Review
I've not been keen on the idea of running since I left secondary school but am always in awe of those who do run, jog, and sprint to enjoy the freedom it brings. This lovely collection of ten poems with its marathonesque cover is a bright and cheery way to take part in running from the comfort of your armchair.
The opening poem Twelve Reasons Why Not by Carole Bromley summed up my inertia perfectly and made me smile:
Lorry drivers whistling
Neighbours making remarks
My favourite of the ten comes at the end of the collection with Cross Country by Stephen Keeler which reminded me very powerfully of cross country runs at school with the word 'run' being overly ambitious for a group of fifteen year olds who had no enthusiasm for the activity.
" They made us run the way they tried to make
us pray as though their history passed on
Ten Poems about Running is the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys the sport or as a crafty nudge to someone to maybe take up the challenge. Particularly appropriate this week as the London Marathon is taking place on Sunday October 2nd.
The poems which make up the collection are very well chosen and cover all aspects of the activity with quirky verses which may just inspire you to take up a couch to 5K challenge - who knows 😊
Candlestick Press is an independent publisher based in Nottingham, UK. We’ve been publishing poetry pamphlets since 2008 not only for people who already love poetry, but also for those who will love it but perhaps don’t know that yet. Our ‘instead of a card’ pamphlets make an ideal alternative to a mainstream greetings card and are a small gift in their own right. They have matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message, and are excellent companions on journeys or for a bedtime read. By supporting us, you help an independent press and our supported charities at the same time as treating yourselves, your friends and family to some wonderful poems.