25 Lines and Fewer

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

El Olvido

By Judith Ortiz Cofer

It is a dangerous thing
to forget the climate of your birthplace,
to choke out the voices of dead relatives . . .

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

By Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds. . . .

Emplumada

By Lorna Dee Cervantes

When summer ended
the leaves of snapdragons withered
taking their shrill-colored mouths with them. . . .

End of Summer

By Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air, A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night. . . .

The End of the World

By Dana Gioia

“We're going,” they said, “to the end of the world.”   
So they stopped the car where the river curled,   
And we scrambled down beneath the bridge    . . .

England in 1819

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring; . . .

Enough

By Suzanne Buffam

I am wearing dark glasses inside the house
To match my dark mood.
  . . .

Entirely

By Louis MacNeice

If we could get the hang of it entirely
   It would take too long;
All we know is the splash of words in passing    . . .

Envy

By Mary Lamb

This rose-tree is not made to bear
The violet blue, nor lily fair,
   Nor the sweet mignionet: . . .

Epilogue

By Robert Browning

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where—by death, fools think, imprisoned— . . .

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