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.

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    . . .

The Man with Night Sweats

By Thom Gunn

I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat   
Wake to their residue,    . . .

[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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