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 William Blake

The wild winds weep, 
         And the night is a-cold;
Come hither, Sleep, ...

By Michael S. Harper

He waltzes into the lane
’cross the free-throw line,
fakes a drive, pivots,...

By Herman Melville

About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim, ...

By Thomas Hardy

"Had he and I but met
            By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet ...

By Thom Gunn

I wake up cold, I who
Prospered through dreams of heat   
Wake to their residue,   ...

By Jane Miller

March 10th and the snow flees like eloping bridesinto rain. The imperceptible change begins
out of an old rage and glistens, chaste, with its new
craving, spring. May your desire always overcome...

By Louise Bogan

I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike, ...

By Robert Browning

The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low; ...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Half of my life is gone, and I have let
   The years slip from me and have not fulfilled
   The aspiration of my youth, to build ...

By Cynthia Cruz

The child is not dead.
She is sleeping.

What People are Saying

"I was surprised that I was able to select poems that are so out of my usual spoken word preference. The Poetry Out Loud website has hundreds of poems that I have never seen before, and the fact that I found 3 and was able to make it so far with them is amazing to me. I guess I learned that stepping outside of the box is okay!"
Annabelle Emuze
2015 IL POL Champion