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 Patricia Smith

Hurricanes, 2005
 
 ...

By George Starbuck

Virgin, sappy, gorgeous, the right-now
Flutters its huge prosthetics at us, flung
To the spotlights, frozen in motion, center-ice. ...

By David Bottoms

On the rough diamond,
the hand-cut field below the dog lot and barn,
we rehearsed the strict technique...

By Thomas Hood

There is a silence where hath been no sound,
   There is a silence where no sound may be,
   In the cold grave—under the deep deep sea, ...

By Sara Teasdale

Since there is no escape, since at the end
My body will be utterly destroyed,
This hand I love as I have loved a friend,...

By Suji Kwock Kim

If the angle of an eye is all,   
the slant of hope, the slant of dreaming, according to each life,
what is the light of this city, ...

By Karen Volkman

Sleeping sister of a farther sky,
dropped from zenith like a tender tone,
the lucid apex of a scale unknown...

By Dilruba Ahmed

They staunched the wound with a stone.
They drew blue venom from his blood
            until there was none....

By Kenneth Patchen

The snow is deep on the ground.   
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd. ...

By Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow; ...

What People are Saying

"I was surprised that I was able to select poems that are so out of my usual spoken word preference. The Poetry Out Loud website has hundreds of poems that I have never seen before, and the fact that I found 3 and was able to make it so far with them is amazing to me. I guess I learned that stepping outside of the box is okay!"
Annabelle Emuze
2015 IL POL Champion