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 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,...

By James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   
The dark wheat listens.
Be still....

By William Lisle Bowles

Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
      Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
      Soothing it stole on my deluded ear, ...

By Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
                  Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree ...

By Toi Derricotte

The most popular “act” in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty...

By Seamus Heaney

Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot...

By Carmen Giménez Smith

My heart is bleeding. It bleeds upward and fills
my mouth up with salt. It bleeds because of a city in ruins,
the chair still warm from sister's body,...

By James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies...

By Simon J. Ortiz

You could drive blind
for those two seconds
and they would be forever....

What People are Saying

"I went in expecting to lend my voice to the poetry, but found that it was a two-way exchange: the poetry lent its voice to me, as well."
Megan Kim
2017 OR POL Champion