25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2017-2018 competition.

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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...

By Samuel Menashe

      1
Is this writing mine
Whose name is this...

By Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Like the horn you played in Catholic school
the city will open its mouth and cry
...

By Hart Crane

Often beneath the wave, wide from this ledge
The dice of drowned men’s bones he saw bequeath
An embassy. Their numbers as he watched,...

By Reginald Gibbons

The thick-walled room’s cave-darkness,
cool in summer, soothes
by saying, This is the truth, not the taut...

By Vincent O’Sullivan

I’m in charge of a cage. I know those that won’t.
I don’t mean can’t. Just won’t. There’s a roster
for Tuesdays, Fridays. Dogs to die....

By George Bilgere

The last time I saw Paul Castle
it was printed in gold on the wall
above the showers in the boys’...

By Twyla Hansen

In the middle of rolling grasslands, away from lights,
a moonless night untethers its wild polka-dots,
the formations we can name competing for attention...

By Robert Adamson

These water birds flew out from the minds
Of fishermen and became fishing peons
Wealthy sailors watched as darters emerged again...

What People are Saying

"I learned that I enjoyed poetry - a lot. I'm known as the "football guy" at my school and it surprised me, and others, that poetry would be a big part of my life. Also, I realized that I not bad at performing and public speaking."
Marquavious Moore
2017 TN POL Champion