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.

Under Stars

By Tess Gallagher

The sleep of this night deepens
because I have walked coatless from the house
carrying the white envelope. . . .

Under the Vulture-Tree

By David Bottoms

We have all seen them circling pastures,
have looked up from the mouth of a barn, a pine clearing,   
the fences of our own backyards, and have stood    . . .


By Ruby Robinson

There is an ash tree behind this house. You
can see it from our bedroom window.
If you stare at it for long enough, you’ll see . . .

The Unforgiven

By Russell Edson

After a series of indiscretions a man stumbled homeward, thinking, now that I am going down from my misbehavior I am to be forgiven, because how I acted was not the true self, which I am now returning to. And I am not to be blamed for the past, because I’m to be seen as one redeemed in the . . .

Unholy Sonnet 1

By Mark Jarman

Dear God, Our Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord,
Mother Love and Maker, Light Divine,
Atomic Fingertip, Cosmic Design, . . .


By Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? . . .