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 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 ...

By Donald Hall

In October of the year,
he counts potatoes dug from the brown field,   
counting the seed, counting   ...

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, ...

What People are Saying

"Even people who don't particularly enjoy most forms of poetry can still find a poem that they enjoy AND be very good at reciting if they set their minds to it. What makes poetry so appealing is its ability to describe all sorts of different aspects of the human experience in a new and unique light. There is a poem out there for everyone. Even my dad...maybe."
Danielle Corbett
2016 NH POL Champion