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 Patricia Smith

Hurricanes, 2005
  . . .


By George Starbuck

Virgin, sappy, gorgeous, the right-now
Flutters its huge prosthetics at us, flung
To the spotlights, frozen in motion, center-ice. . . .

Sign for My Father, Who Stressed the Bunt

By David Bottoms

On the rough diamond,
the hand-cut field below the dog lot and barn,
we rehearsed the strict technique . . .


By Thomas Hood

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
   There is a silence where no sound may be,
   In the cold grave—under the deep deep sea, . . .

Since There Is No Escape

By Sara Teasdale

Since there is no escape, since at the end
My body will be utterly destroyed,
This hand I love as I have loved a friend, . . .


By Suji Kwock Kim

If the angle of an eye is all,   
the slant of hope, the slant of dreaming, according to each life,
what is the light of this city, . . .

[Sleeping sister of a farther sky]

By Karen Volkman

Sleeping sister of a farther sky,
dropped from zenith like a tender tone,
the lucid apex of a scale unknown . . .

Snake Oil, Snake Bite

By Dilruba Ahmed

They staunched the wound with a stone.
They drew blue venom from his blood
            until there was none. . . .

The Snow Is Deep on the Ground

By Kenneth Patchen

The snow is deep on the ground.   
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd. . . .

The Snow Man

By Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; . . .