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 Carlos Williams

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping ...

By Edwin Markham

I would my soul were like the bird   
That dares the vastness undeterred.   
Look, where the bluebird on the bough   ...

By Catherine Wing

Then came the darker sooner,
came the later lower.
We were no longer a sweeter-here...

By Marilyn Nelson

Five daughters, in the slant light on the porch,
are bickering. The eldest has come home
with new truths she can hardly wait to teach....

By Sasha Dugdale

Every morning since the time changed
I have woken to the dawn chorus
And even before it sounded, I dreamed of it...

By Geoffrey Brock

It hangs on its
                stem like a plum
at the edge of a...

By James Whitcomb Riley

O the days gone by! O the days gone by!
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail ...

By Ellen Bass

For months my daughter carried
a dead monarch in a quart mason jar.
To and from school in her backpack,...

By Seamus Heaney

All year the flax-dam festered in the heart
Of the townland; green and heavy headed
Flax had rotted there, weighted down by huge sods....

By Samuel Daniel


When men shall find thy flower, thy glory, pass,
And thou with careful brow sitting alone...

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2017 AL POL Champion