Ten Poems about Running
Selected and Introduced by Stephen Keeler
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.
Cover illustration by Hannah Forward.