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 John Milton

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid   ...

By Charlotte Brontë

There's little joy in life for me,
      And little terror in the grave;
I 've lived the parting hour to see...

By Thomas Gray

In vain to me the smiling Mornings shine,
And reddening Phœbus lifts his golden fire;
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;...

By Louis Simpson

On the lawn at the villa—
That’s the way to start, eh, reader?
We know where we stand—somewhere expensive— ...

By Phillis Wheatley

O thou bright jewel in my aim I strive
To comprehend thee. Thine own words declare
Wisdom is higher than a fool can reach. ...

By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster....

By Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   ...

By Calvin Forbes

Put my glad rags in a cardboard box—
This old jiggerboo never grew mature.
Is everthing in its place except me?...

By Rae Armantrout

The very flatnessof portraits
makes for nostalgia
in the connoisseur....

By Edward Thomas

Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved;
Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof
Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest ...

What People are Saying

"I went in expecting to lend my voice to the poetry, but found that it was a two-way exchange: the poetry lent its voice to me, as well."
Megan Kim
2017 OR POL Champion