25 Lines and Fewer

Menu

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

Tall Ambrosia

By Henry David Thoreau

Among the signs of autumn I perceive
The Roman wormwood (called by learned men
Ambrosia elatior, food for gods,— . . .

Tamer and Hawk

By Thom Gunn

I thought I was so tough,
But gentled at your hands,
Cannot be quick enough . . .

Testimonial

By Rita Dove

Back when the earth was new
and heaven just a whisper,
back when the names of things . . .

A Thank-You Note

By Michael Ryan

My daughter made drawings with the pens you sent,
line drawings that suggest the things they represent,
different from any drawings she — at ten — had done, . . .

That Everything's Inevitable

By Katy Lederer

That everything's inevitable.
That fate is whatever has already happened.
The brain, which is an elemental, as sane, as the rest of the processing universe is. . . .

Their Bodies

By David Wagoner

That gaunt old man came first, his hair as white
As your scoured tables. Maybe you’ll recollect him
By the scars of steelmill burns on the backs of his hands, . . .

Their Story

By Stuart Dybek

They were nearing the end of their story.
The fire was dying, like the fire in the story.
Each page turned was torn and fed . . .

Then and Now

By Tom Clark

Then it was always
for now, later
for later. . . .

There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House

By Emily Dickinson

There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House,
As lately as Today —
I know it, by the numb look . . .

They Flee From Me

By Thomas Wyatt

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek, . . .

1 of 4