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

"I did not expect to like Poetry Out Loud, truthfully. My first year, I did not want to compete at all.Somewhere along the line, I fell in love with the program and have learned so much about poetry, performing, and expression throughout the last three years."
Gabrielle Hunt
2017 NV POL Champion