25 Lines and Fewer

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

Nocturne

By Li-Young Lee

That scraping of iron on iron when the wind   
rises, what is it? Something the wind won’t   
quit with, but drags back and forth. . . .

A Noiseless Patient Spider

By Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, . . .

Not for That City

By Charlotte Mew

Not for that city of the level sun,
     Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze—
     The shadeless, sleepless city of white days, . . .

Not Waving but Drowning

By Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought    . . .

November Cotton Flower

By Jean Toomer

Boll-weevil’s coming, and the winter’s cold,
Made cotton-stalks look rusty, seasons old,
And cotton, scarce as any southern snow, . . .

Nude Descending a Staircase

By X J Kennedy

Toe after toe, a snowing flesh,
a gold of lemon, root and rind,
she sifts in sunlight down the stairs . . .

Nuit Blanche

By Amy Lowell

I want no horns to rouse me up to-night,   
And trumpets make too clamorous a ring   
To fit my mood, it is so weary white    . . .

Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent’s Narrow Room

By William Wordsworth

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels; . . .

Nurture

By Maxine W. Kumin

From a documentary on marsupials I learn
that a pillowcase makes a fine
substitute pouch for an orphaned kangaroo. . . .

The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd

By Sir Walter Ralegh

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move, . . .

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