25 Lines and Fewer

ONLY poems listed here or in the current printed anthology are eligible for the 2018-2019 competition.

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By Kathleen Norris

Wake up,
you’ll need your wits about you.
This is not a dream,...

By Edgar Lee Masters

Mr. Kessler, you know, was in the army,
And he drew six dollars a month as a pension,
And stood on the corner talking politics,...

By Emily Dickinson

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -...

By Lucille Clifton

they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shaped...

By Virginia Hamilton Adair

Always the caravan of sound made us halt   
to admire the swinging and the swift go-by   
of beasts with enormous hooves and heads   ...

By Anthony Lawrence

My darling turns to poetry at night.
What began as flirtation, an aside
Between abstract expression and first light...

By Sandra M. Castillo

at Las Villas, a small Carol City bar with a makeshift stage,
where he spends too much time drinking,
pretending he can learn to play the guitar at forty-five,...

By Lorine Niedecker

My mother saw the green tree toad
on the window sill
her first one...

By Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath   
Could make a small boy dizzy;   
But I hung on like death:   ...

By Chidiock Tichborne

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares, ...

What People are Saying

"I was initially very surprised by how unique each performer can make a poem. Even if twenty different kids are reciting the same poem, they will each make it their own and interpret it the way that they want to. "
Vera Escaja-Heiss
2018 VT Champ