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Chapbook: Haiku as Running Log

First Mile

legs leaded down tight
hips fisted like a wish-bone
sleepy muscles bite 

In my field notes, I found poems.  I wrote many entries in my field notes as poems, and constructed many poems while running.  When I think about what makes poetry, I typically think of the line.  “Poetry is the sound of language in lines… Line is what distinguishes our experience of poetry as poetry, rather than some other kind of writing” (Longenbach, 2008, p. xi).  And when thinking of the line, I think of breath.  For me, running is also about breath; breathing in the pleasure, breathing out the hurt.  Breathing in who I want to be, breathing out lesser versions of self.  Trying to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth to catch my pace during a run.  “The body is rooted in breath, rhythm, and poetry…” (Snowber, 2016, p. xv).  Thus, I used poetry as representation and analysis of women’s running stories. 

The haiku as running log that I interwove with my own running stories in Chapter Two represents my embodied practice.  I used haiku and other poetic forms as part of my field notes and research practice:

  1. to show embodiment and to mirror the rhythm of running;
  2. to demonstrate the process of analysis;
  3. to connect writing and ethnographic practice.


Longenbach, J. (2008). The art of the poetic line. Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf Press.

Snowber, C. (2016). Embodied inquiry: Writing, living and being through the body. Rotterdam: Sense.

This web-based material is an accompaniment to the book Real Women Run: Running as Feminist Embodiment by Sandra Faulkner.