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.

Part for the Whole

By Robert Francis

When others run to windows or out of doors
To catch the sunset whole, he is content
With any segment anywhere he sits. . . .

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, . . .

Past-Lives Therapy

By Charles Simic

They explained to me the bloody bandages
On the floor in the maternity ward in Rochester, N.Y.,   
Cured the backache I acquired bowing to my old master,    . . .

Pastoral Dialogue

By Anne Killigrew

Remember when you love, from that same hour
Your peace you put into your lover’s power;
From that same hour from him you laws receive, . . .

Peace Lilies

By Cathy Smith Bowers

I collect them now, it seems. Like
sea-shells or old
thimbles. One for . . .

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, . . .

Pentatina for Five Vowels

By Campbell McGrath

Today is a trumpet to set the hounds baying.
The past is a fox the hunters are flaying.
Nothing unspoken goes without saying. . . .

The People, Yes

By Carl Sandburg

Lincoln?
He was a mystery in smoke and flags
Saying yes to the smoke, yes to the flags, . . .

Photo of a Girl on a Beach

By Carmen Giménez Smith

Once when I was harmless
and didn’t know any better,
. . .

Piano

By D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings . . .

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