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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.

What You Have to Get Over

By Dick Allen

Stumps. Railroad tracks. Early sicknesses, the blue one, especially.
Your first love rounding a corner,
that snowy minefield. . . .

The Wheel Revolves

By Kenneth Rexroth

You were a girl of satin and gauze
Now you are my mountain and waterfall companion.   
Long ago I read those lines of Po Chu I    . . .

When I Am Asked

By Lisel Mueller

When I am asked   
how I began writing poems,   
I talk about the indifference of nature.    . . .

When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be

By John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, . . .

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

By Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them, . . .

When You Are Old

By William Butler Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look . . .

The White City

By Claude McKay

I will not toy with it nor bend an inch.
Deep in the secret chambers of my heart
I muse my life-long hate, and without flinch . . .

Wide Receiver

By Mark Halliday

In the huddle you said “Go long—get open”
and at the snap I took off along the right sideline
and then cut across left in a long arc . . .

The Widow’s Lament in Springtime

By William Carlos Williams

Sorrow is my own yard
where the new grass
flames as it has flamed . . .

Wife’s Disaster Manual

By Deborah Paredez

When the forsaken city starts to burn,
after the men and children have fled,
stand still, silent as prey, and slowly turn . . .