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

"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