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.

When You Are Old

By William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look . . .

The White City

By Claude McKay

I will not toy with it nor bend an inch.
Deep in the secret chambers of my heart
I muse my life-long hate, and without flinch . . .

Wide Receiver

By Mark Halliday

In the huddle you said “Go long—get open”
and at the snap I took off along the right sideline
and then cut across left in a long arc . . .

Wife’s Disaster Manual

By Deborah Paredez

When the forsaken city starts to burn,
after the men and children have fled,
stand still, silent as prey, and slowly turn . . .

Wind, Water, Stone

By Octavio Paz

Water hollows stone,
wind scatters water,
stone stops the wind. . . .

The Windhover

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

I caught this morning morning's minionminion favorite, darling; also, an underling or servant, king-
    dom of daylight's dauphindauphin prince; a French historical term, along with “chevalier”, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and . . .

Windy City

By Stuart Dybek

The garments worn in flying dreams
were fashioned there—
overcoats that swooped like kites, . . .


By Marie Ponsot

I don’t know what to say to you, neighbor,
as you shovel snow from your part of our street   
neat in your Greek black. I’ve waited for    . . .

Winter Remembered

By John Crowe Ransom

Two evils, monstrous either one apart,
Possessed me, and were long and loath at going:   
A cry of Absence, Absence, in the heart,    . . .


By Louise Bogan

Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts . . .