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 Joanna Baillie

Child, with many a childish wile,
Timid look, and blushing smile,
Downy wings to steal thy way,...

By Howard Nemerov

The world is full of mostly invisible things,
And there is no way but putting the mind’s eye,
Or its nose, in a book, to find them out,...

By Elizabeth Moody

Gay Fashion thou Goddess so pleasing,
   However imperious thy sway;
Like a mistress capricious and teasing, ...

By Edgar Allan Poe

Helen, thy beauty is to me
   Like those Nicéan barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, ...

By Anne Bradstreet

Most truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same...

By Richard Lovelace

Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
         That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind ...

By Anne Bradstreet

If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee.
If ever wife was happy in a man,...

By Franz Wright

You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80,
the sole passenger...

By Benjamin Alire Sáenz

I came to you one rainless August night.
You taught me how to live without the rain.
You are thirst and thirst is all I know....

By Frank O'Hara

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught   
in some moorings. I am always tying up   ...

What People are Saying

"In the beginning of my Poetry Out Loud experience, I didn't expect to become so attached to my three competition poems. Five months later, they have become a part of me."
Gabrielle Cooper
2017 ME POL Champion