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 Robert Lowell

Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme—
why are they no help to me now
I want to make ...

By Robert Browning

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep-time,
When you set your fancies free,
Will they pass to where—by death, fools think, imprisoned—...

By Katherine Philips

What on Earth deserves our trust?
Youth and Beauty both are dust.
Long we gathering are with pain,...

By Thomas Carew

This little vault, this narrow room,
Of Love, and Beauty, is the tomb;
The dawning beam that gan to clear ...

By Aphra Behn


This Little, Silent, Gloomy Monument,
Contains all that was sweet and innocent ;...

By Alison Hawthorne Deming

Pomegranates fell from the trees
in our sleep. If we stayed
in the sun too long...

By Donald Justice

Now comes the evening of the mind.
Here are the fireflies twitching in the blood;
Here is the shadow moving down the page...

By John Straley

Suppose I said the word “springtime”
and I wrote the words “king salmon”
on a piece of paper...

By Linda Gregerson

When love was a question, the message arrived
in the beak of a wire and plaster bird. The coloratura
was hardly to be believed. For flight, ...

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

The lords of life, the lords of life,—
I saw them pass,
In their own guise,...

What People are Saying

"Even people who don't particularly enjoy most forms of poetry can still find a poem that they enjoy AND be very good at reciting if they set their minds to it. What makes poetry so appealing is its ability to describe all sorts of different aspects of the human experience in a new and unique light. There is a poem out there for everyone. Even my dad...maybe."
Danielle Corbett
2016 NH POL Champion