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 John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent,
   Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
   And that one Talent which is death to hide ...

By John Milton

Methought I saw my late espoused saint
       Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave,
       Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, ...

By Anna Seward

While one sere leaf, that parting Autumn yields,
   Trembles upon the thin, and naked spray,
   November, dragging on this sunless day, ...

By Anna Seward

On the fleet streams, the Sun, that late arose,
   In amber radiance plays; the tall young grass
   No foot hath bruised; clear morning, as I pass, ...

By Charlotte Smith

Is there a solitary wretch who hies
   To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow,
And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes ...

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight ...

By William Butler Yeats

The brawling of a sparrow in the eaves,   
The brilliant moon and all the milky sky,   
And all that famous harmony of leaves,   ...

By Edward Thomas

The sorrow of true love is a great sorrow
And true love parting blackens a bright morrow:
Yet almost they equal joys, since their despair...

By Barbara Crooker

We’re writing our names with sizzles of light
to celebrate the fourth. I use the loops of cursive,
make a big B like the sloping hills on the west side ...

By Weldon Kees

“A equals X,” says Mister One.   
“A equals B,” says Mister Two.   
“A equals nothing under the sun   ...

What People are Saying

"I do Poetry Out Loud because the everyday me is very shy and easily stumbles over words, mangling meaning and botching simple conversations. Yet, when I recite poetry it is an opportunity for me to become someone else––an embodiment of the poem. Slowly, step by step, I think Poetry Out Loud is helping me to become a braver, more confident person, even if I still tremble when I get on stage."
Rose Horowitz
2016 ME POL Champion