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 Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

because it has no pure products

because the Pacific Ocean sweeps along the coastline...

By Bob Hicok

At forty-eight, to be given water,
which is most of the world, given life
in water, which is most of me, given ease,...

By John Shoptaw

Chimerical, the rhinoceros egret,
its keratin dehorned in South Africa
and container-shipped to Vietnam or China...

By Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving   
up the bales as the sun moves down....

By Sara Teasdale

Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold,
Let it be forgotten for ever and ever,...

By Juan Felipe Herrera

Before you go further,
let me tell you what a poem brings,
first, you must know the secret, there is no poem...

By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

“Light! more light! the shadows deepen,
        And my life is ebbing low,
Throw the windows widely open:...

By Russell Edson

Let us consider the farmer who makes his straw hat his   
sweetheart; or the old woman who makes a floor lamp her son;
or the young woman who has set herself the task of scraping...

By Edith Wharton

Life, like a marble block, is given to all,
A blank, inchoate mass of years and days,
Whence one with ardent chisel swift essays...

By Robert Browning

Escape me?
Never—
Beloved!...

What People are Saying

"Because poetry centers around very human themes, we are able to connect with it in an extraordinary meaningful, poignant way, regardless of when it was written. "
Hope Stratman
2018 NE POL Champ