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 T. S. Eliot

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair—
Lean on a garden urn—
Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair— ...

By William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,...

By Linda Gregg

It was a picture I had after the war.
A bombed English church. I was too young   
to know the word English or war, ...

By Wilfred Owen

‘O Jesus Christ! I’m hit,’ he said; and died.

Whether he vainly cursed or prayed indeed,
                 The Bullets chirped—In vain, vain, vain!
 ...

By Heid E. Erdrich

Dumped wet and momentary on a dull ground
that’s been clear but clearly sleeping, for days.
Last snow melts as it falls, piles up slush, runs in first light...

By Jennifer Grotz

Before the moths have even appeared
to orbit around them, the streetlamps come on,
a long row of them glowing uselessly...

By John Brehm

Do nothing and everything will be done,   
that's what Mr. Lao Tzu said, who walked   
around talking 2,500 years ago and   ...

By David Yezzi

I don’t say things I don’t want to say
or chew the fat with fat cats just because.
...

By Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

because it has no pure products

because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline...

By Bob Hicok

At forty-eight, to be given water,
which is most of the world, given life
in water, which is most of me, given ease,...

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates
2016 LA POL Champion