The poems in "Simple Rhythms: Poetry for Runners" ring true for me. In "Same Old Song," Ray Charbonneau writes, "Running is boring, so some people say/ One step, then another, grim day after day./ That repetition is not cause for alarm./ A litany of footfalls is part of the charm/ Of the music I hear on the roads and the trails..." How true! I've been a runner for forty years, and I've learned that with the rhythm of my footfalls come my best ideas. Steady, repetitive steps are the perfect backdrop for working out answers to problems, revisiting experiences, and considering alternatives. Nothing about it is boring. On the contrary, running provides the time to center and renew myself.
Just as the thoughts that come to me as I run are varied, the verse forms and moods that Charbonneau experiments with vary: from the familiar iambic tetrameter of "The Runner" (his tongue-in-cheek rewriting of Poe's "The Raven") to haiku to limerick to free verse, from the playfulness of "Product Placement" to his appreciation and wonder in "Einstein Was a Runner" and in "Elemental."
If you're a runner, or if you want to catch a glimpse into the mind of a devoted runner, don't miss this little gem of a book.