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.

Holding Court

By Jacob Saenz

Today I became King
of the Court w/out a diamond-
encrusted crown thrust upon . . .

Holy Sonnets: Batter my heart, three-person'd God

By John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend . . .

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud

By John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow . . .

“Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314)

By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words - . . .

How I Learned Bliss

By Oliver de la Paz

I spied everything. The North Dakota license,

the “Baby on Board” signs, dead raccoons, and deer carcasses. . . .

How many times these low feet staggered (238)

By Emily Dickinson

How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet - . . .

Hunger for Something

By Chase Twichell

Sometimes I long to be the woodpile,
cut-apart trees soon to be smoke,
or even the smoke itself, . . .

Hunger Moon

By Jane Cooper

The last full moon of February stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position . . .


By David St. John

The way a tired Chippewa woman
Who’s lost a child gathers up black feathers,
Black quills & leaves . . .

A Hymn to God the Father

By John Donne

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
         Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run, . . .

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