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 John Dryden

Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near ally'd; and thine...

By Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

God washes clean the souls and hearts of you,
His favored ones, whose backs bend o’er the soil,
Which grudging gives to them requite for toil...

By Robert Herrick

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today...

By Louis Simpson

A siren sang, and Europe turned away
From the high castle and the shepherd’s crook.   
Three caravels went sailing to Cathay...

By Billy Collins

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
...

By Jack Underwood

I put an animal on an animal
which I put onto the animal I had already stacked
on top of my first animal and stood back...

By William E. Stafford

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon: ...

By Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light, where the hours are suns,...

By Gwendolyn Brooks

And if sun comesHow shall we greet him?
Shall we not dread him,
Shall we not fear him...

By Naomi Shihab Nye

We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,   
popped it right in....

What People are Saying

"I learned that no matter how many times I do it, I will still be nervous when I speak in public. I also learned that it is possible to experience the same poem many times in a row and still feel like I am discovering something new about myself through the words of the writer."
Madeleine Schroeder
2017 OH POL Champion