25 Lines and Fewer

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2014-2015 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

In

By Andrew Hudgins

When we first heard from blocks away
the fog truck’s blustery roar,
we dropped our toys, leapt from our meals,    . . .

In a Dark Time

By Theodore Roethke

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;   
I hear my echo in the echoing wood— . . .

In a London Drawingroom

By George Eliot

The sky is cloudy, yellowed by the smoke.
For view there are the houses opposite
Cutting the sky with one long line of wall . . .

In Flanders Fields

By John McCrae


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, . . .

[in Just-]

By E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little . . .

In Praise of My Bed

By Meredith Holmes

At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side! . . .

In Praise of Pain

By Heather McHugh

A brilliance takes up residence in flaws—
a brilliance all the unchipped faces of design
refuse. The wine collects its starlets . . .

In the Desert

By Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground, . . .

Insect

By Annie Finch

That hour-glass-backed,
orchard-legged,
heavy-headed will, . . .

Inside Out

By Diane Wakoski

I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by, . . .