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 William Baer

Timing’s everything. The vapor rises
high in the sky, tossing to and fro,
then freezes, suddenly, and crystalizes . . .

Snowy Owl Near Ocean Shores

By Duane Niatum

A castaway blown south from the arctic tundra
sits on a stump in an abandoned farmer’s field.
Beyond the dunes cattails toss and bend as snappy . . .

So We'll Go No More a Roving

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

So, we'll go no more a roving
   So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving, . . .

The Soldier

By Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
      That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be . . .


By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, . . .


By Robert Creeley

The galloping collection of boards   
are the house which I afforded   
one evening to walk into . . .


By Edmund Waller

Go, lovely rose!
Tell her that wastes her time and me,
That now she knows, . . .

Song After Campion

By Robert Fitzgerald

Ravished lute, sing to her virgin ears,   
Soft notes thy strings repeating;
Plucked harp, whose amorous song she hears,    . . .

Song in a Minor Key

By Dorothy Parker

There's a place I know where the birds swing low,
      And wayward vines go roaming,
Where the lilacs nod, and a marble god . . .

a song in the front yard

By Gwendolyn Brooks

I’ve stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it’s rough and untended and hungry weed grows.    . . .