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 Wilfred Owen

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle ...

By Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Cavendish

I language want to dress my fancies in,
The hair's uncurled, the garment's loose and thin.
Had they but silver lace to make them gay,...

By Ernest Dowson

We have walked in Love's land a little way,
We have learnt his lesson a little while,
And shall we not part at the end of day,...

By Arthur Symons

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,...

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?...

By Hailey Leithauser

The heart of a bear is a cloud-shuttered
mountain. The heart of a mountain’s a kiln.
The white heart of a moth has nineteen white...

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 ...

By Archibald MacLeish

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

By Shara McCallum

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

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 ...

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2016 ME POL Champion