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 Dorothea Tanning

Be perfect, make it otherwise.
Yesterday is torn in shreds.
Lightning’s thousand sulfur eyes...

By Stephen Dunn

This time I came to the starting place
with my best running shoes, and pure speed
held back for the finish, came with only love...

By Claude McKay

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness,
And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth,
Stealing my breath of life, I will confess ...

By Philip Freneau

Deep in a vale, a stranger now to arms,
Too poor to shine in courts, too proud to beg,
He, who once warred on Saratoga’s plains,...

By Christina Rossetti

“Oh where are you going with your love-locks flowing
   On the west wind blowing along this valley track?”
“The downhill path is easy, come with me an it please ye, ...

By George Gascoigne

“And if I did, what then?
Are you aggriev’d therefore?
The sea hath fish for every man, ...

By Wallace Stevens

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness ...

By B. H. Fairchild

Elliot Ray Neiderland, home from college   
one winter, hauling a load of Herefords   
from Hogtown to Guymon with a pint of   ...

By Josephine Jacobsen

At night, alone, the animals came and shone.
The darkness whirled but silent shone the animals:   
The lion the man the calf the eagle saying   ...

By Edgar Lee Masters

Out of me unworthy and unknown
The vibrations of deathless music;
“With malice toward none, with charity for all.” ...

What People are Saying

"I did not expect to fall in love with poetry. I just expected to recite and be done with it. After just sitting there and analyzing my poems, I realized that the stories told through these few words mean so much. I had to step out of myself and step into the author's shoes, and with that comes great work."
Kyla Rose Bates
2016 LA POL Champion