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.

Aria

By David Barber

What if   it were possible to vanquish
All this shame with a wash of   varnish
Instead of wishing the stain would vanish? . . .

The Arrow and the Song

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight . . .

Ars Poetica

By Archibald MacLeish

A poem should be palpable and mute   
As a globed fruit,
. . .

The Art Room

By Shara McCallum

Because we did not have threads
of turquoise, silver, and gold,
we could not sew a sun nor sky. . . .

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's . . .

At Cross Purposes

By Samuel Menashe

      1
Is this writing mine
Whose name is this . . .

At Melville’s Tomb

By Hart Crane

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched, . . .

At the Vietnam Memorial

By George Bilgere

The last time I saw Paul Castle
it was printed in gold on the wall
above the showers in the boys’ . . .

Author’s Prayer

By Ilya Kaminsky

If I speak for the dead, I must leave
this animal of my body,
. . .

The Author to Her Book

By Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true, . . .