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.

Carmel Highlands

By Janet Loxley Lewis

Below the gardens and the darkening pines
The living water sinks among the stones,
Sinking yet foaming till the snowy tones . . .

Carnival

By Rebecca Lindenberg

The mask that burns like a violin, the mask
that sings only dead languages, that loves
the destruction of being put on. The mask . . .

Catch a Little Rhyme

By Eve Merriam

Once upon a time
I caught a little rhyme
. . .

A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving

By Ben Jonson

Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, . . .

A Certain Kind of Eden

By Kay Ryan

It seems like you could, but you can’t go back and pull
the roots and runners and replant.
It’s all too deep for that. . . .

Chez Jane

By Frank O'Hara

The white chocolate jar full of petals
swills odds and ends around in a dizzying eye   
of four o’clocks now and to come. The tiger,    . . .

Childhood

By Margaret Walker

When I was a child I knew red miners
dressed raggedly and wearing carbide lamps.
I saw them come down red hills to their camps . . .

Childhood’s Retreat

By Robert Duncan

It’s in the perilous boughs of the tree   
out of blue sky    the wind   
sings loudest surrounding me. . . .

The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow

By William Blake

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? say?" . . .

The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young

By William Blake

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!" . . .