25 Lines and Fewer

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

Go to:
By Kenneth Rexroth

I don’t mind the human race.   
I’ve got pretty used to them   
In these past twenty-five years.   ...

By Timothy Murphy

Touch and go. Our Cessna bumped the sand,
       thumped its tundra tires,
       lifted as if on wires,...

By Stevie Smith

Do not despair of man, and do not scold him,   
Who are you that you should so lightly hold him?   
Are you not also a man, and in your heart...

By Ernest Hilbert

Maybe you’ve heard about this. Maybe not.
A man came home and chucked his girlfriend’s cat
In the wood chipper. This really happened....

By Joy Harjo

Don’t bother the earth spirit who lives here. She is working on a story. It is the oldest story in the world and it is delicate, changing. If she sees you watching she will invite you in for coffee, give...

By G. K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
   And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood...

By Queen Elizabeth I

The doubt of future foes exiles my present joy,
And wit me warns to shun such snares as threaten mine annoy;
For falsehood now doth flow, and subjects’ faith doth ebb, ...

By Emilia Phillips

My story’s told in the mis-dial’s
hesitance & anonyms of crank calls,
...

By John Berryman

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.   
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,   
we ourselves flash and yearn,...

By Siegfried Sassoon

Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.   
In the great hour of destiny they stand,...

What People are Saying

"I learned to enjoy older poems. At first, I hated the requirement that I had to choose a poem that was pre-20th century. However, as time went by, I began to enjoy the poems more and more. My favorite pre-20th century poet is now Emily Bronte. "
Eseme Segbefia
2018 NY POL Champ