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 Emily Dickinson

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides -
You may have met him? Did you not...

By Langston Hughes

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.
...

By Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand...

By Ambrose Bierce

Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.
...

By Terrance Hayes

I said Folk was dressed in Blues but hairier and hemped.
After "We acoustic banjo disciples!" Jebediah said, "When
and whereforth shall the bucolic blacks with good tempers ...

By Michael Earl Craig

This night nurse is different.
She walks into my room and does not turn the light on.
She thinks I am sleeping....

By W. S. Merwin

Oh pile of white shirts who is coming
to breathe in your shapes to carry your numbers
to appear ...

By Li-Young Lee

That scraping of iron on iron when the wind   
rises, what is it? Something the wind won’t   
quit with, but drags back and forth. ...

By Walt Whitman

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, ...

By Charlotte Mew

Not for that city of the level sun,
     Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze—
     The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,...

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