Find Poems & Poets

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2016-2017 competition.

Go to:
By William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be ...

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars ...

By A. E. Housman

“Is my team ploughing,
   That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle ...

By Edgar Allan Poe

In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
   “Whose heart-strings are a lute”;   
None sing so wildly well ...

By Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one ...

By James Lasdun

It isn’t me, he’d say,
stepping out of a landscape
that offered, he’d thought, the backdrop...

By Thomas Lux

It’s the little towns I like
with their little mills making ratchets
and stanchions, elastic web, ...

By Emily Dickinson

It sifts from Leaden Sieves -
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool ...

By Emily Dickinson

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down -
It was not Night, for all the Bells...

By Jimmy Santiago Baca

It would be neat if with the New Year
I could leave my loneliness behind with the old year.
My leathery loneliness an old pair of work boots ...

What People are Saying

"I cannot say enough about Poetry Out Loud and what the program has done for my colleagues and our students. I have seen what this amazing program does for poetry lovers and poetry skeptics alike."
Craig Lawrence
2014 IL POL Champion Teacher