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 Yone Noguchi

Out of the deep and the dark,
A sparkling mystery, a shape,
Something perfect, ...

By Emily Dickinson

The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate...

By William Blake

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe: ...

By Scott Cairns

Your petitions—though they continue to bear
just the one signature—have been duly recorded.
Your anxieties—despite their constant,...

By Jorie Graham

Over a dock railing, I watch the minnows, thousands, swirl   
themselves, each a minuscule muscle, but also, without the   
way to create current, making of their unison (turning, re-...

By Robert Bly

Your head is still
restless, rolling
east and west....

By Yusef Komunyakaa

Crowned with a feathered helmet,
Not for disguise or courtship
Dance, he looks like something...

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font. ...

By Joseph Bruchac

Seeing photos
of ancestors
a century past...

By Alan Dugan

The skin ripples over my body like moon-wooed water,
rearing to escape me. Where could it find another
animal as naked as the one it hates to cover?...

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