25 Lines and Fewer

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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

To the Harbormaster

By Frank O'Hara

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught   
in some moorings. I am always tying up    . . .

To Helen

By Edgar Allan Poe

Helen, thy beauty is to me
   Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, . . .

To Her Father with Some Verses

By Anne Bradstreet

Most truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same . . .

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

By Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
         That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind . . .

To the Memory of Mr. Oldham

By John Dryden

Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near ally'd; and thine . . .

To My Dear and Loving Husband

By Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man, . . .

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

By Robert Herrick

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today . . .

To the Western World

By Louis Simpson

A siren sang, and Europe turned away
From the high castle and the shepherd’s crook.   
Three caravels went sailing to Cathay . . .

Traveling through the Dark

By William E. Stafford

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon: . . .

The Truly Great

By Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light, where the hours are suns, . . .