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 Howard Nemerov

The house is so quiet now
The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet,
Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth ...

By Craig Arnold

Your first thought when the light snaps on and the black wings
             clatter about the kitchen       is a bat
...

By Mary Jo Salter

My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy,
and likes to rent her movies, for a treat.
It makes some evenings harder to enjoy. ...

By Ezra Pound

No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,   
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness; ...

By Phillip B. Williams

A monstrosity in the alley.
A many-bodied movement grouped
for terror, their flights’ brief shadows...

By W. S. Merwin

Comet of stillness princess of what is over
       high note held without trembling without voice without sound
aura of complete darkness keeper of the kept secrets...

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