25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2015-2016 competition.

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By Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's ...

By Janet Loxley Lewis

Below the gardens and the darkening pines
The living water sinks among the stones,
Sinking yet foaming till the snowy tones ...

By Samuel Menashe

      1
Is this writing mine
Whose name is this ...

By Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Like the horn you played in Catholic school
the city will open its mouth and cry
...

By Hart Crane

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched, ...

By Reginald Gibbons

The thick-walled room’s cave-darkness,
cool in summer, soothes
by saying, This is the truth, not the taut...

By George Bilgere

The last time I saw Paul Castle
it was printed in gold on the wall
above the showers in the boys’...

By Twyla Hansen

In the middle of rolling grasslands, away from lights,
a moonless night untethers its wild polka-dots,
the formations we can name competing for attention...

By Ilya Kaminsky

If I speak for the dead, I must leave
this animal of my body,
...

By Anne Bradstreet

Thou ill-form’d offspring of my feeble brain,
Who after birth didst by my side remain,
Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true, ...

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