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 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