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 Meredith Holmes

At last I can be with you!
The grinding hours
since I left your side!...

By Heather McHugh

A brilliance takes up residence in flaws—
a brilliance all the unchipped faces of design
refuse. The wine collects its starlets ...

By Stephen Crane

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground, ...

By Kathryn Simmonds

The baby sleeps.
Sunlight plays upon my lap, through doily leaves a black lab comes,
a scotty goes, the day wears on, the baby wakes....

By Annie Finch

That hour-glass-backed,
orchard-legged,
heavy-headed will, ...

By Diane Wakoski

I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by, ...

By Dana Gioia

Now you hear what the house has to say.  
Pipes clanking, water running in the dark,   
the mortgaged walls shifting in discomfort,   ...

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Thin are the night-skirts left behind
By daybreak hours that onward creep,
And thin, alas! the shred of......

By Amy Lowell

When I have baked white cakes
And grated green almonds to spread upon them;
When I have picked the green crowns from the strawberries...

By William Blake

Piping down the valleys wild 
Piping songs of pleasant glee 
On a cloud I saw a child. ...

What People are Saying

"I actually enjoy poetry! When I started participating in the Poetry Out Loud competition in the 9th grade I hated poetry, but as I continued to participate over the years I grew a love and appreciation for the art form, and poetry is now a part of my identity."
Irvin Mason, Jr.
2016 USVI POL Champion