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 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 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 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?...

By Jane Hirshfield

Stay, I said
to the cut flowers.
They bowed ...

By George Oppen

In the small beauty of the forest
The wild deer bedding down—
That they are there! ...

By A. E. Stallings

You squeezed its leash in your fist,
It followed where you led:
Tick, tock, tick, tock,...

By George Herbert

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can....

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2016 ME POL Champion