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 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 Thomas Hardy

“I am playing my oldest tunes,” declared she,
      “All the old tunes I know,—
Those I learnt ever so long ago.”...

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 John Ashbery

Alone with our madness and favorite flower
We see that there really is nothing left to write about.
Or rather, it is necessary to write about the same old things...

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.
...

What People are Saying

"I have always loved poetry, but through Poetry Out Loud I have learned a greater respect for all different types of poetry. This competition is so much more than memorizing and reciting a poem; I became very invested in each one of my poems."
Janessa Gould
2017 WI POL Champion