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.

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, . . .

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 . . .

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, . . .

This Most Perfect Hill

By Lisa Jarnot

On this most perfect hill
with these most perfect dogs
are these most perfect people . . .

Those Winter Sundays

By Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached . . .

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