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.

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. . . .

Delia 33: When men shall find thy flower, thy glory, pass

By Samuel Daniel

When men shall find thy flower, thy glory, pass,
And thou with careful brow sitting alone . . .


By Amy Uyematsu

So by sixteen we move in packs
learn to strut and slide
in deliberate lowdown rhythm . . .

The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee

By N. Scott Momaday

I am a feather on the bright sky
I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water . . .


By Josephine Miles

When with the skin you do acknowledge drought,
The dry in the voice, the lightness of feet, the fine
Flake of the heat at every level line; . . .

The Destruction of Sennacherib

By Lord Byron (George Gordon)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, . . .


By Michelle Y. Burke

You love your friend, so you fly across the country to see her.

Your friend is grieving. When you look at her, you see that something’s missing. . . .