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 Judith Ortiz Cofer

It is a dangerous thing
to forget the climate of your birthplace,
to choke out the voices of dead relatives...

By J. T. Ledbetter

Someone must have seen an old dog
dragging its broken body through
the wet grass;...

By Wallace Stevens

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds....

By Lorna Dee Cervantes

When summer ended
the leaves of snapdragons withered
taking their shrill-colored mouths with them....

By Michael Derrick Hudson

To think I used to be so good at going to pieces
gobbling my way through the cops
...

By Stanley Kunitz

An agitation of the air,A perturbation of the light
Admonished me the unloved year
Would turn on its hinge that night....

By Dana Gioia

“We're going,” they said, “to the end of the world.”   
So they stopped the car where the river curled,   
And we scrambled down beneath the bridge   ...

By Wendell Berry

If you are not to become a monster,
you must care what they think.
If you care what they think,...

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring; ...

By Suzanne Buffam

I am wearing dark glasses inside the house
To match my dark mood.
 ...

What People are Saying

"I was surprised how attached I got to my poems. I've had "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg" memorized since my sophomore year, and whenever I get nervous or anxious about something I recite it to myself. "
Sarah Calvin-Stupfel
2018 OR POL Champ