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.

mulberry fields

By Lucille Clifton

they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shaped . . .

Musical Moment

By Virginia Hamilton Adair

Always the caravan of sound made us halt   
to admire the swinging and the swift go-by   
of beasts with enormous hooves and heads    . . .

[My mother saw the green tree toad]

By Lorine Niedecker

My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one . . .

My Papa’s Waltz

By Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath   
Could make a small boy dizzy;   
But I hung on like death:    . . .

[My prime of youth is but a frost of cares]

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, . . .

My Sad Captains

By Thom Gunn

One by one they appear in
the darkness: a few friends, and   
a few with historical . . .

The Mystery of the Hunt

By Michael McClure

It’s the mystery of the hunt that intrigues me,
                   That drives us like lemmings, but cautiously—
The search for a bright square cloud—the scent of lemon verbena— . . .

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