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 Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached ...

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Thou art my lute, by thee I sing,—
     My being is attuned to thee.
Thou settest all my words a-wing,...

By Aphra Behn

A thousand martyrs I have made,
   All sacrificed to my desire;
A thousand beauties have betrayed, ...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown ...

By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

When you put on the mask the thunder starts.
Through the nostril’s orange you can smell
the far hope of rain. Up in the Nilgiris,...

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied   
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!   
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;   ...

By George Oppen

I remember a square of New York’s Hudson River glinting between warehouses.
Difficult to approach the water below the pier
Swirling, covered with oil the ship at the pier ...

By Sarah Helen Whitman

Vainly my heart had with thy sorceries striven:
It had no refuge from thy love,—no Heaven
But in thy fatal presence;—from afar...

By William Butler Yeats

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,...

By Kevin Goodan

to crave what the light does crave
to shelter, to flee
to gain desire of every splayed leaf...

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