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 Howard Nemerov

The house is so quiet now
The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet,
Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth ...

By Robert Graves

Lady, lovely lady,
   Careless and gay!
Once when a beggar called...

By John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
   And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say ...

By Lorna Dee Cervantes

Cherry plums suck a week’s soak,
overnight they explode into the scenery of before
your touch. The curtains open on the end of our past. ...

By Elinor Wylie

Too high, too high to pluck
My heart shall swing.
A fruit no bee shall suck, ...

By Craig Arnold

Your first thought when the light snaps on and the black wings
             clatter about the kitchen       is a bat
...

By Mary Jo Salter

My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy,
and likes to rent her movies, for a treat.
It makes some evenings harder to enjoy. ...

By Ezra Pound

No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,   
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness; ...

By Lisel Mueller

People whose lives have been shaped
by history—and it is always tragic—
do not want to talk about it,...

By Phillip B. Williams

A monstrosity in the alley.
A many-bodied movement grouped
for terror, their flights’ brief shadows...

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