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.

Let Us Consider

By Russell Edson

Let us consider the farmer who makes his straw hat his   
sweetheart; or the old woman who makes a floor lamp her son;
or the young woman who has set herself the task of scraping . . .

Life

By Edith Wharton

Life, like a marble block, is given to all,
A blank, inchoate mass of years and days,
Whence one with ardent chisel swift essays . . .

Life in a Love

By Robert Browning

Escape me?
Never—
Beloved! . . .

Light Shining out of Darkness

By William Cowper

1
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform; . . .

Like Rousseau

By Amiri Baraka

She stands beside me, stands away,
the vague indifference
of her dreams. Dreaming, to go on, . . .

Lincoln

By Vachel Lindsay

Would I might rouse the Lincoln in you all,
That which is gendered in the wilderness
From lonely prairies and God’s tenderness. . . .

Lines Written in Early Spring

By William Wordsworth

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts . . .

Linnaeus in Lapland

By Lorine Niedecker

Nothing worth noting
except an Andromeda
with quadrangular shoots— . . .

Listening

By Jean Valentine

My whole life I was swimming listening
beside the daylight world like a dolphin beside a boat
. . .

Little Father

By Li-Young Lee

I buried my father
in the sky.
Since then, the birds . . .