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.

A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky

By Lewis Carroll

A BOAT beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July — . . .

Boy and Egg

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Every few minutes, he wants
to march the trail of flattened rye grass
back to the house of muttering . . .

Break, Break, Break

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,
         On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter . . .

Break of Day

By John Donne

‘Tis true, ‘tis day, what though it be?
O wilt thou therefore rise from me?
Why should we rise because ‘tis light? . . .

Bright Star

By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart, . . .

Broken Promises

By David Kirby

I have met them in dark alleys, limping and one-armed;   
I have seen them playing cards under a single light-bulb   
and tried to join in, but they refused me rudely,    . . .

Buckroe, After the Season, 1942

By Virginia Hamilton Adair

Past the fourth cloverleaf, by dwindling roads   
At last we came into the unleashed wind;
The Chesapeake rose to meet us at a dead end    . . .

Buick

By Karl Shapiro

As a sloop with a sweep of immaculate wing on her delicate spine
And a keel as steel as a root that holds in the sea as she leans,
Leaning and laughing, my warm-hearted beauty, you ride, you ride, . . .

Burning the Old Year

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper, . . .

Cabezón

By Amy Beeder

I see you shuffle up Washington Street
whenever I am driving much too fast:
you, chub & bug-eyed, jaw like a loaf . . .