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 Baron Brooke Fulke Greville

O wearisome condition of humanity!
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity;...

By Charles Wright

Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.
Moon-fingers lay down their same routine
On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. ...

By Phillis Levin

To fish from a cloud in the sky
You must find a comfortable spot,
Spend a day looking down...

By Jones Very

The morning comes, and thickening clouds prevail,
    Hanging like curtains all the horizon round,
Or overhead in heavy stillness sail;...

By Basil Bunting

A strong song tows
us, long earsick.
Blind, we follow...

By Elinor Wylie

Man, the egregious egoist,
(In mystery the twig is bent,)
Imagines, by some mental twist, ...

By Denise Levertov

Come into animal presence.
No man is so guileless as
the serpent. The lonely white...

By Weldon Kees

September was when it began.
Locusts dying in the fields; our dogs
Silent, moving like shadows on a wall;...

By Georgia Douglas Johnson

And who shall separate the dust
What later we shall be:
Whose keen discerning eye will scan...

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood ...

What People are Saying

"I have always loved poetry, but through Poetry Out Loud I have learned a greater respect for all different types of poetry. This competition is so much more than memorizing and reciting a poem; I became very invested in each one of my poems."
Janessa Gould
2017 WI POL Champion