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.

The Cricket and the Grasshopper

By Dan Beachy-Quick

The senseless leaf   in the fevered hand
Grows hot, near blood-heat, but never grows
Green. Weeks ago the dove’s last cooing strain . . .

The Cross of Snow

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
   A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
   Looks at me from the wall, where round its head . . .

Crossing the Bar

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar, . . .

Danse Russe

By William Carlos Williams

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping . . .

The Daring One

By Edwin Markham

I would my soul were like the bird   
That dares the vastness undeterred.   
Look, where the bluebird on the bough    . . .

The Darker Sooner

By Catherine Wing

Then came the darker sooner,
came the later lower.
We were no longer a sweeter-here . . .

Dawn Chorus

By Sasha Dugdale

Every morning since the time changed
I have woken to the dawn chorus
And even before it sounded, I dreamed of it . . .

The Day

By Geoffrey Brock

It hangs on its
                stem like a plum
at the edge of a . . .

The Days Gone By

By James Whitcomb Riley

O the days gone by! O the days gone by!
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail . . .

Death of a Naturalist

By Seamus Heaney

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods. . . .