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ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2013-2014 Poetry Out Loud competition. More information here.

Beginning

By James Wright

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.   
The dark wheat listens.
Be still. . . .

Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter

By John Crowe Ransom

There was such speed in her little body,   
And such lightness in her footfall,   
It is no wonder her brown study . . .

Bent to the Earth

By Blas Manuel De Luna

They had hit Ruben
with the high beams, had blinded
him so that the van . . .

Bereavement

By William Lisle Bowles

Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
      Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
      Soothing it stole on my deluded ear, . . .

Big City Speech

By W. S. Di Piero

Use me
Abuse me
          Turn wheels of fire . . .

The Birth of John Henry

By Melvin B. Tolson

The night John Henry is born an ax
            of lightning splits the sky,
and a hammer of thunder pounds the earth, . . .

A Birthday

By Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
                  Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree . . .

Birthday Poem

By Al Young

First light of day in Mississippi
son of laborer & of house wife
it says so on the official photostat . . .

Black Boys Play the Classics

By Toi Derricotte

The most popular “act” in
Penn Station
is the three black kids in ratty . . .

A Black Man Talks of Reaping

By Arna Bontemps

I have sown beside all waters in my day.
I planted deep, within my heart the fear
that wind or fowl would take the grain away. . . .