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 Wallace Stevens

The difficulty to think at the end of day,   
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun   
And nothing is left except light on your fur—...

By Kazim Ali

With thick strokes of ink the sky fills with rain.
Pretending to run for cover but secretly praying for more rain.
...

By Robert Creeley

All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls...

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable—...

By Robert Burns

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
   That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody ...

By Tess Gallagher

Heartbeat trembling
your kingdom
of leaves...

By Mary Barnard

After reading Ash Wednesday
she looked once at the baked beans
and fled. Luncheonless, poor girl, ...

By Jamaal May

A lot of it lives in the trachea, you know.
But not so much that you won’t need more muscle:
the diaphragm, a fist clenching at the bottom....

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons   
          walking their dogs
                      in Central Park West ...

By Rita Dove

I acknowledge my status as a stranger:   
Inappropriate clothes, odd habits   
Out of sync with wasp and wren.   ...

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion