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 Lucille Clifton

they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shaped...

By Virginia Hamilton Adair

Always the caravan of sound made us halt   
to admire the swinging and the swift go-by   
of beasts with enormous hooves and heads   ...

By Anthony Lawrence

My darling turns to poetry at night.
What began as flirtation, an aside
Between abstract expression and first light...

By Lorine Niedecker

My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one ...

By Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath   
Could make a small boy dizzy;   
But I hung on like death:   ...

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, ...

By Thom Gunn

One by one they appear in
the darkness: a few friends, and   
a few with historical...

By Rafael Campo

To cure myself of wanting Cuban songs,
I wrote a Cuban song about the need
For people to suppress their fantasies,...

By Michael McClure

It’s the mystery of the hunt that intrigues me,
                   That drives us like lemmings, but cautiously—
The search for a bright square cloud—the scent of lemon verbena—...

What People are Saying

"In the beginning of my Poetry Out Loud experience, I didn't expect to become so attached to my three competition poems. Five months later, they have become a part of me."
Gabrielle Cooper
2017 ME POL Champion