Sunday, April 26, 2009

"This is Just to Say" (Ultrarunners' Edition)

Inspired by a recent This American Life piece on the famous non-apology apology poem -- This is Just to Say -- by William Carlos Williams, I had to try my hand at an ultrarunner version.

This is Just to Say

I have run
longer than
I told you
I would.

I'm sure
the kids
didn't drive you crazy
and that you didn't have
anything you wanted to do.

Forgive me
the sun was
so nice and
my legs so good.

(photo courtesy of gnorrander)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Poetry from Motion" in This Month's UltraRUNNING

The marriage of poetry and running is never far from my mind, and this was especially so this winter, where my standard pre-dawn runs took me right by the birthplace of the influential modernist poet, Ezra Pound (b. 1885; Hailey, ID). Often best known for his charges of treason following World War II, he was a huge driving force in English letters, helping writers like James Joyce and T.S. Eliot find publishers, and it was in fact Pound's edits that would help make Eliot's poem, "The Waste Land," one of the touchstone poems of our age. The classic opening line, "April is the cruelest month" was buried 50 lines deep in the original draft until Pound brought Occam's Razor to bear.

All this is to say that even in sleepy little Hailey, ID, on a sleepy little morning road run, I just can't seem to escape the juxtaposition of running and poetry. And in this month's (April's) issue of UltraRUNNING, I'm lucky enough to have a chance to share these thoughts in more detail with a short essay and some poetry inspired by my long runs in the lonesome backcountry.

Hope you get a chance to check them out.

Poet Ezra Pound's Birthplace, Hailey, ID
(Photo by ArielAmanda, used under Creative Commons)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Art on the Run: First Light

With spring finally descending upon us here in the mountains -- however haltingly -- I've been in a real mood for the arts, which has moved me to share one of my favorite photos from the end of the 2008 season. Snapped on one of my long runs in the far Adams Gulch area of Sun Valley, it captured an "honorable mention" in this year's Heart of the Valley Contest put on by the Wood River Land Trust--something I was quite pleased with. Whether it qualifies as art, you'll have to be the judge.