Find Poems & Poets

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

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By Elizabeth Hands

O what a strange parcel of creatures are we,
Scarce ever to quarrel, or even agree;
We all are alone, though at home altogether, ...

By Elizabeth Bentley

When infant Reason first exerts her sway,
And new-formed thoughts their earliest charms display;
Then let the growing race employ your care ...

By Josephine Miles

All our roads go nowhere.
Maps are curled
To keep the pavement definitely ...

By Queen Elizabeth I

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,...

By Edgar Albert Guest

How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it’s an easy word, ...

By John Milton

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid   ...

By Charlotte Brontë

There's little joy in life for me,
      And little terror in the grave;
I 've lived the parting hour to see...

By Thomas Gray

In vain to me the smiling Mornings shine,
And reddening Phœbus lifts his golden fire;
The birds in vain their amorous descant join;...

By Pattiann Rogers

How confident I am it is there. Don’t I bring it,   
As if it were enclosed in a fine leather case,   
To particular places solely for its own sake?   ...

By Louis Simpson

On the lawn at the villa—
That’s the way to start, eh, reader?
We know where we stand—somewhere expensive— ...

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