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.

Wet Casements

By John Ashbery

The concept is interesting: to see, as though reflected
In streaming windowpanes, the look of others through
Their own eyes. A digest of their correct impressions of . . .

[What horror to awake at night]

By Lorine Niedecker

What horror to awake at night
and in the dimness see the light.
               Time is white . . .

What It Does

By David Ferry

The sea bit,
As they said it would,
And the hill slid, . . .

What It Looks Like To Us and the Words We Use

By Ada Limón

All these great barns out here in the outskirts,
black creosote boards knee-deep in the bluegrass.
They look so beautifully abandoned, even in use. . . .

What Kind of Times Are These

By Adrienne Rich

There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted . . .

“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why”

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain . . .

What to Say Upon Being Asked to Be Friends

By Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Why speak of hate, when I do bleed for love?
Not hate, my love, but Love doth bite my tongue
Till I taste stuff that makes my rhyming rough . . .

When I Am Asked

By Lisel Mueller

When I am asked   
how I began writing poems,   
I talk about the indifference of nature.    . . .

Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent

By John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that one Talent which is death to hide . . .

When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be

By John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, . . .