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 John Dryden

Farewell, too little and too lately known,
Whom I began to think and call my own;
For sure our souls were near ally'd; and thine...

By Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson

God washes clean the souls and hearts of you,
His favored ones, whose backs bend o’er the soil,
Which grudging gives to them requite for toil...

By Anna Lætitia Barbauld

Child of distress, who meet’st the bitter scorn
Of fellow-men to happier prospects born,
Doomed Art and Nature’s various stores to see...

By Robert Herrick

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today...

By Louis Simpson

A siren sang, and Europe turned away
From the high castle and the shepherd’s crook.   
Three caravels went sailing to Cathay...

By Billy Collins

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
...

By Jack Underwood

I put an animal on an animal
which I put onto the animal I had already stacked
on top of my first animal and stood back...

By William E. Stafford

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:...

By Stephen Spender

I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light, where the hours are suns,...

By Gwendolyn Brooks

And if sun comesHow shall we greet him?
Shall we not dread him,
Shall we not fear him...

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