25 Lines and Fewer


ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the current Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

At Last the New Arriving

By Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Like the horn you played in Catholic school
the city will open its mouth and cry
. . .

At Melville’s Tomb

By Hart Crane

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched, . . .

At the Vietnam Memorial

By George Bilgere

The last time I saw Paul Castle
it was printed in gold on the wall
above the showers in the boys’ . . .

August 12 in the Nebraska Sand Hills Watching the Perseids Meteor Shower

By Twyla Hansen

In the middle of rolling grasslands, away from lights,
a moonless night untethers its wild polka-dots,
the formations we can name competing for attention . . .

Author’s Prayer

By Ilya Kaminsky

If I speak for the dead, I must leave
this animal of my body,
. . .

The Author to Her Book

By Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true, . . .


By Franz Wright

Think of   a sheep
knitting a sweater;
think of   your life . . .

Awaking in New York

By Maya Angelou

Curtains forcing their will   
against the wind,
children sleep, . . .

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