25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2017-2018 competition.

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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!"...

By Tess Gallagher

I go to the mountain side
of the house to cut saplings,
and clear a view to snow...

By Stuart Dybek

A man steps out of sunlight,
sunlight that streams like grace,
...

By Baron Brooke Fulke Greville

O wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity;...

By Charles Wright

Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. ...

By Phillis Levin

To fish from a cloud in the sky
You must find a comfortable spot,
Spend a day looking down...

By Jones Very

The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
    Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;...

By Basil Bunting

A strong song tows
us, long earsick.
Blind, we follow...

By Elinor Wylie

Man, the egregious egoist,
(In mystery the twig is bent,)
Imagines, by some mental twist, ...

By Denise Levertov

Come into animal presence.
No man is so guileless as
the serpent. The lonely white...

What People are Saying

"I went in expecting to lend my voice to the poetry, but found that it was a two-way exchange: the poetry lent its voice to me, as well."
Megan Kim
2017 OR POL Champion