Find Poems & Poets

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2015-2016 competition.

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By Edgar Lee Masters

Mr. Kessler, you know, was in the army,
And he drew six dollars a month as a pension,
And stood on the corner talking politics, ...

By Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness - ...

By Lucille Clifton

they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shaped ...

By Philip Levine

As a boy he played alone in the fields   
behind our block, six frame houses   
holding six immigrant families,   ...

By Anthony Lawrence

My darling turns to poetry at night.
What began as flirtation, an aside
Between abstract expression and first light...

By Louis Simpson

My father in the night commanding No
Has work to do. Smoke issues from his lips;   
      He reads in silence. ...

By Hart Crane

There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is ...

By Lorine Niedecker

My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one ...

By Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath   
Could make a small boy dizzy;   
But I hung on like death:   ...

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, ...

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