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 Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons   
          walking their dogs
                      in Central Park West...

By Rita Dove

I acknowledge my status as a stranger:   
Inappropriate clothes, odd habits   
Out of sync with wasp and wren.   ...

By Duy Doan

The man I pulled tonight
carried a load of books.
...

By Richard Hugo

Hardly a ghost left to talk with. The slavs moved on
or changed their names to something green. Greeks gave up   
old dishes and slid into repose. Runs of salmon thin   ...

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood...

By Yusef Komunyakaa

The river stones are listening
because we have something to say.
The trees lean closer today....

By Leigh Hunt


Jenny kissed me when we met,
    Jumping from the chair she sat in;...

By Jean Valentine

a labyrinth,
as if at its center,
god would be there—...

By Maurya Simon

What I want most is what I deeply fear:
loss of self; yet here I stand, a “memsahib,”
all decked out in wonder, and still a stranger...

What People are Saying

"I went in expecting to lend my voice to the poetry, but found that it was a two-way exchange: the poetry lent its voice to me, as well."
Megan Kim
2017 OR POL Champion