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.

La Figlia che Piange

By T. S. Eliot

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair—
Lean on a garden urn—
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair— . . .

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, . . .

The Lamb

By Linda Gregg

It was a picture I had after the war.
A bombed English church. I was too young   
to know the word English or war, . . .

The Last Laugh

By Wilfred Owen

‘O Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ he said; and died.

Whether he vainly cursed or prayed indeed,
                 The Bullets chirped—In vain, vain, vain!
 . . .

Late Summer

By Jennifer Grotz

Before the moths have even appeared
to orbit around them, the streetlamps come on,
a long row of them glowing uselessly . . .


By John Brehm

Do nothing and everything will be done,   
that's what Mr. Lao Tzu said, who walked   
around talking 2,500 years ago and    . . .


By David Yezzi

I don’t say things I don’t want to say
or chew the fat with fat cats just because.
. . .

Learning to Love America

By Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

because it has no pure products

because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline . . .

Learning to swim

By Bob Hicok

At forty-eight, to be given water,
which is most of the world, given life
in water, which is most of me, given ease, . . .

Leda and the Swan

By William Butler Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill, . . .

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