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 Arthur Symons

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,...

By David Barber

What if   it were possible to vanquish
All this shame with a wash of   varnish
Instead of wishing the stain would vanish?...

By Hailey Leithauser

The heart of a bear is a cloud-shuttered
mountain. The heart of a mountain’s a kiln.
The white heart of a moth has nineteen white...

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight ...

By Archibald MacLeish

A poem should be palpable and mute   
As a globed fruit,
...

By Shara McCallum

Because we did not have threads
of turquoise, silver, and gold,
we could not sew a sun nor sky. ...

By James Weldon Johnson

Trade, Trade versus Art,
Brain, Brain versus Heart;
Oh, the earthiness of these hard-hearted times,   ...

By Jimmy Santiago Baca

Elm branches radiate green heat,
blackbirds stiffly strut across fields.
Beneath bedroom wood floor, I feel earth— ...

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's ...

By Janet Loxley Lewis

Below the gardens and the darkening pines
The living water sinks among the stones,
Sinking yet foaming till the snowy tones ...

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