25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2014-2015 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

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By Robert Francis

When others run to windows or out of doors
To catch the sunset whole, he is content
With any segment anywhere he sits....

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, ...

By Charles Simic

They explained to me the bloody bandages
On the floor in the maternity ward in Rochester, N.Y.,   
Cured the backache I acquired bowing to my old master,   ...

By Anne Killigrew

Remember when you love, from that same hour
Your peace you put into your lover’s power;
From that same hour from him you laws receive, ...

By Cathy Smith Bowers

I collect them now, it seems. Like
sea-shells or old
thimbles. One for ...

By Stuart Dybek

Fire ran horrified
from its ashes.
...

By Campbell McGrath

Today is a trumpet to set the hounds baying.
The past is a fox the hunters are flaying.
Nothing unspoken goes without saying....

By Carl Sandburg

Lincoln?
He was a mystery in smoke and flags
Saying yes to the smoke, yes to the flags, ...

By Carmen Giménez Smith

Once when I was harmless
and didn’t know any better,
...

By D. H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings ...

What People are Saying

"The people I have met through Poetry Out Loud are incredibly welcoming, kind, and supportive. Everyone's main motive truly is to share and celebrate poetry. Poetry Out Loud taught me that, however paradoxical it may seem, competitions do not always have to be purely competitive. They can be celebratory and supportive and fun as well."
Casey Goggin
2015 NC POL Champion