25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2016-2017 competition.

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By Stephen Dunn

This time I came to the starting place
with my best running shoes, and pure speed
held back for the finish, came with only love...

By Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess ...

By Philip Freneau

Deep in a vale, a stranger now to arms,
Too poor to shine in courts, too proud to beg,
He, who once warred on Saratoga’s plains,...

By Christina Rossetti

“Oh where are you going with your love-locks flowing
   On the west wind blowing along this valley track?”
“The downhill path is easy, come with me an it please ye, ...

By George Gascoigne

“And if I did, what then?
Are you aggriev’d therefore?
The sea hath fish for every man, ...

By Wallace Stevens

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness ...

By B. H. Fairchild

Elliot Ray Neiderland, home from college   
one winter, hauling a load of Herefords   
from Hogtown to Guymon with a pint of   ...

By Josephine Jacobsen

At night, alone, the animals came and shone.
The darkness whirled but silent shone the animals:   
The lion the man the calf the eagle saying   ...

By Edgar Lee Masters

Out of me unworthy and unknown
The vibrations of deathless music;
“With malice toward none, with charity for all.” ...

By Ruth Stone

Once you saw a drove of young pigs
crossing the highway. One of them
pulling his body by the front feet,...

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion