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.

The Obligation to Be Happy

By Linda Pastan

It is more onerous
than the rites of beauty
or housework, harder than love. . . .

The Ocean

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves, . . .

Ode 

By Arthur O'Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers . . .

Ode on Solitude

By Alexander Pope

Happy the man, whose wish and care
   A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air, . . .

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow

By Robert Duncan

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,   
that is not mine, but is a made place,
. . .

['Often rebuked, yet always back returning']

By Emily Brontë

Often rebuked, yet always back returning
    To those first feelings that were born with me,
And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning . . .

"oh antic God"

By Lucille Clifton

oh antic God
return to me
my mother in her thirties    . . .

Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes

By Charlotte Smith

Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!
      How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!
For me wilt thou renew the withered rose, . . .

Old Ironsides

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
   Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see . . .

The Old Liberators

By Robert Hedin

Of all the people in the mornings at the mall,   
it’s the old liberators I like best,   
those veterans of the Bulge, Anzio, or Monte Cassino    . . .

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