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 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.” ...

By Ruth Stone

Once you saw a drove of young pigs
crossing the highway. One of them
pulling his body by the front feet,...

By Wilfred Owen

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle ...

By Duchess of Newcastle Margaret Cavendish

I language want to dress my fancies in,
The hair's uncurled, the garment's loose and thin.
Had they but silver lace to make them gay,...

By Ernest Dowson

We have walked in Love's land a little way,
We have learnt his lesson a little while,
And shall we not part at the end of day,...

By Arthur Symons

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,...

By David Barber

What if   it were possible to vanquish
All this shame with a wash of   varnish
Instead of wishing the stain would vanish?...

By Hailey Leithauser

The heart of a bear is a cloud-shuttered
mountain. The heart of a mountain’s a kiln.
The white heart of a moth has nineteen white...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight ...

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