25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2014-2015 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

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By Maya Angelou

Curtains forcing their will   
against the wind,
children sleep, ...

By Larry Bradley

Learn from the man who spends much of his life speaking
             To the back of your head knowing what it means to follow
...

By A. E. Stallings

The barnacle is rather odd —
It’s not related to the clam
Or limpet. It’s an arthropod,...

By Richard Wilbur

The warping night air having brought the boom
Of an owl’s voice into her darkened room,
We tell the wakened child that all she heard...

By Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
     All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,...

By Julia Ward Howe

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fatal lightning of his terrible swift sword: ...

By Mark Turcotte

Back when I used to be Indian
I am standing outside the
pool hall with my sister....

By Ed Roberson

i must be careful about such things as these.
the thin-grained oak.    the quiet grizzlies scared
into the hills by the constant tracks squeezing...

By Kenneth Patchen

Be music, night,
That her sleep may go
Where angels have their pale tall choirs ...

By W.D. Ehrhart

What if I didn’t shoot the old lady
running away from our patrol,
or the old man in the back of the head,...

What People are Saying

"The people I have met through Poetry Out Loud are incredibly welcoming, kind, and supportive. Everyone's main motive truly is to share and celebrate poetry. Poetry Out Loud taught me that, however paradoxical it may seem, competitions do not always have to be purely competitive. They can be celebratory and supportive and fun as well."
Casey Goggin
2015 NC POL Champion