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 Charlotte Mew

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

By Natalie Shapero

What I adore is not horses, with their modern
domestic life span of 25 years. What I adore
is a bug that lives only one day, especially if...

By Stevie Smith

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought   ...

By Jean Toomer

Boll-weevil’s coming, and the winter’s cold,
Made cotton-stalks look rusty, seasons old,
And cotton, scarce as any southern snow, ...

By X J Kennedy

Toe after toe, a snowing flesh,
a gold of lemon, root and rind,
she sifts in sunlight down the stairs ...

By Amy Lowell

I want no horns to rouse me up to-night,   
And trumpets make too clamorous a ring   
To fit my mood, it is so weary white   ...

By William Wordsworth

Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels; ...

By Maxine W. Kumin

From a documentary on marsupials I learn
that a pillowcase makes a fine
substitute pouch for an orphaned kangaroo. ...

By Sir Walter Ralegh

If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move,...

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