25 Lines and Fewer

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the current 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 . . .

Elegy for Blue

By J. T. Ledbetter

Someone must have seen an old dog
dragging its broken body through
the wet grass; . . .

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 Days Advice from an Ex-zombie

By Michael Derrick Hudson

To think I used to be so good at going to pieces
gobbling my way through the cops
. . .

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    . . .

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