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 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.   ...

By Richard Hugo

Hardly a ghost left to talk with. The slavs moved on
or changed their names to something green. Greeks gave up   
old dishes and slid into repose. Runs of salmon thin   ...

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood...

By Yusef Komunyakaa

The river stones are listening
because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today....

By Claude McKay

To clasp you now and feel your head close-pressed,
Scented and warm against my beating breast;
...

By Leigh Hunt


Jenny kissed me when we met,
    Jumping from the chair she sat in;...

By Jean Valentine

a labyrinth,
as if at its center,
god would be there—...

By Maurya Simon

What I want most is what I deeply fear:
loss of self; yet here I stand, a “memsahib,”
all decked out in wonder, and still a stranger...

What People are Saying

"Poetry Out Loud has taught me not to give up after one mistake. Or two mistakes. Or a few mistakes. It has taught me not to sell myself short, but also to love every unique perspective I come across. People, like poetry, cannot be read once and immediately
understood."
Addi Garner
2017 WA POL Champion