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 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 was surprised that I was able to select poems that are so out of my usual spoken word preference. The Poetry Out Loud website has hundreds of poems that I have never seen before, and the fact that I found 3 and was able to make it so far with them is amazing to me. I guess I learned that stepping outside of the box is okay!"
Annabelle Emuze
2015 IL POL Champion