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 Ravi Shankar

Honest self-scrutiny too easily mutinies,
    mutates into false memories
Which find language a receptive host,...

By Carl Sandburg

When Abraham Lincoln was shoveled into the tombs, he forgot the copperheads and the assassin ... in the dust, in the cool tombs.

And Ulysses Grant lost all thought of con men and Wall Street, cash and collateral turned ashes .........

By David Barber

Here is where
You can get nowhere
Faster than ever...

By Annie Finch

Sir, I am not a bird of prey:
a Lady does not seize the day.
I trust that brief Time will unfold...

By Marcus B. Christian

I ply with all the cunning of my artThis little thing, and with consummate care
I fashion it—so that when I depart,
Those who come after me shall find it fair...

By Dan Beachy-Quick

The senseless leaf   in the fevered hand
Grows hot, near blood-heat, but never grows
Green. Weeks ago the dove’s last cooing strain...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
   A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
   Looks at me from the wall, where round its head ...

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,...

By William Carlos Williams

If I when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping ...

By Edwin Markham

I would my soul were like the bird   
That dares the vastness undeterred.   
Look, where the bluebird on the bough   ...

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