Simple Rhythms: Poetry for Runners


Anything you do regularly takes on layers of meaning. Running regularly certainly gives you time to think, and to find meaning in simple things and perhaps in things not so simple. In Simple Rhythms, Ray Charbonneau finds poetry in motion, the simple and basic motion of running.

Simple Rhythms

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Simple Rhythms is a work of love for an activity that a lot of people hate. There are some wonderful surprises inside, with poems, parodies, free verse, limericks, musings, and mantras. Ray does a wonderful job of being human. He humbles himself and his journey, but celebrates his accomplishments at simply conquering the clarion call of the couch. As someone who runs but struggles with motivation, I find much of myself in Ray’s work and find that familiarity a comfort.

Poetry will always be the closest humans get to painting with emotion, and Ray shares his love and struggles as clearly in this work as Bob Ross shares his happy little trees and affinity for painting with trowels.”

Jesse Parent, author of The Noise That Is Not You and two-time Individual World Poetry Slam runner-up

“There are two tools that I use almost everyday to seek out balance and some semblance of sanity: poetry and running. Usually, the only place these two indulgences intersect is in my head while I’m on a run, sifting through an idea for a poem. With Simple Rhythms, Ray has found that sweet spot where the two can coexist in a lighthearted, easy reading sort of way.”

Jason Fisk, author of Sadly Beautiful

“Ray calls this a book of poetry for runners. He is correct on every count.”

Mark Remy, DumbRunner.com

“Simple Rhythms is a refreshing read even for non-runners. After all, as the author well knows, poetry itself is made up of running feet. From free verse to haikus to limericks to a Poe-inspired lament, this collection celebrates the confluence of poetry and running throughout. A central piece, “Product Placement,” skewers our Age of Advertising in rhyming couplets that are both funny and sly. As with Charbonneau’s prose, Simple Rhythms offers insight, commiseration, and humor that any reader is sure to enjoy.”

Laura Cherry, author of Haunts and Two White Beds