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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the current Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

The Paradox

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

I am the mother of sorrows,
   I am the ender of grief;
I am the bud and the blossom, . . .

Part for the Whole

By Robert Francis

When others run to windows or out of doors
To catch the sunset whole, he is content
With any segment anywhere he sits. . . .

Passing

By Toi Derricotte

A professor invites me to his “Black Lit” class; they’re
reading Larson’s Passing. One of the black
students says, “Sometimes light-skinned blacks . . .

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

By Christopher Marlowe

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields, . . .

Past-Lives Therapy

By Charles Simic

They explained to me the bloody bandages
On the floor in the maternity ward in Rochester, N.Y.,   
Cured the backache I acquired bowing to my old master,    . . .

Pastoral Dialogue

By Anne Killigrew

Remember when you love, from that same hour
Your peace you put into your lover’s power;
From that same hour from him you laws receive, . . .

Peace Lilies

By Cathy Smith Bowers

I collect them now, it seems. Like
sea-shells or old
thimbles. One for . . .

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, . . .

Peach

By Jennifer Tonge

Come here’s
a peach he said
and held it out just far . . .

Pentatina for Five Vowels

By Campbell McGrath

Today is a trumpet to set the hounds baying.
The past is a fox the hunters are flaying.
Nothing unspoken goes without saying. . . .

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