25 Lines and Fewer


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


By Kazim Ali

With thick strokes of ink the sky fills with rain.
Pretending to run for cover but secretly praying for more rain.
. . .

The Rain

By Robert Creeley

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls . . .


By Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable— . . .

A Red, Red Rose

By Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody . . .

Refusing Silence

By Tess Gallagher

Heartbeat trembling
your kingdom
of leaves . . .

Remarks on Poetry and the Physical World

By Mary Barnard

After reading Ash Wednesday
she looked once at the baked beans
and fled. Luncheonless, poor girl, . . .

Retired Ballerinas, Central Park West

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons   
          walking their dogs
                      in Central Park West . . .

Richard Cory

By Edwin Arlington Robinson

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown, . . .


By Gary Snyder

Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
             placed solid, by hands . . .

The River Now

By Richard Hugo

Hardly a ghost left to talk with. The slavs moved on
or changed their names to something green. Greeks gave up   
old dishes and slid into repose. Runs of salmon thin    . . .

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