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 Nikki Giovanni

If Black History Month is not
viable then wind does not
carry the seeds and drop them...

By Robinson Jeffers

It is not bad.  Let them play.
Let the guns bark and the bombing-plane
Speak his prodigious blasphemies. ...

By Lewis Carroll

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —...

By Jeffrey Skinner

You would expect an uncountable number,
Acres and acres of books in rows
Like wheat or gold bullion. Or that the words just...

By James Ephraim McGirt

Born like the pines to sing,
   The harp and song in m’ breast,
Though far and near,...

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Every few minutes, he wants
to march the trail of flattened rye grass
back to the house of muttering ...

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Break, break, break,
         On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter ...

By John Donne

‘Tis true, ‘tis day, what though it be?
O wilt thou therefore rise from me?
Why should we rise because ‘tis light? ...

By Vijay Seshadri

Dead friends coming back to life, dead family,
speaking languages living and dead, their minds retentive,
their five senses intact, their footprints like a butterfly’s, ...

By John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
         Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart, ...

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