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 Mary Lamb

This rose-tree is not made to bear
The violet blue, nor lily fair,
   Nor the sweet mignionet: ...

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, ...

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