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.

Self-Employed

By David Ignatow

I stand and listen, head bowed,
to my inner complaint.
Persons passing by think . . .

Self-Help

By Michael Ryan

What kind of delusion are you under?
The life he hid just knocked you flat.
You see the lightning but not the thunder. . . .

Self-Portrait

By Chase Twichell

I know I promised to stop
talking about her,
but I was talking to myself. . . .

Self-Portrait

By Robert Creeley

He wants to be
a brutal old man,
an aggressive old man, . . .

September, 1918

By Amy Lowell

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves, . . .

Serenade

By Mary Weston Fordham

Sleep, love sleep,
The night winds sigh,
In soft lullaby. . . .

Sharks' Teeth

By Kay Ryan

Everything contains some   
silence. Noise gets
its zest from the . . .

She Walks in Beauty

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright . . .

Shiloh: A Requiem (April, 1862)

By Herman Melville

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
      The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days, . . .

A Shropshire Lad  2: Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

By A. E. Housman

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride . . .