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 Marsha De La O

Not rain, but fine mist
falls from my lemon tree,
a balm of droplets in green shadow....

By David Bottoms

We have all seen them circling pastures,
have looked up from the mouth of a barn, a pine clearing,   
the fences of our own backyards, and have stood   ...

By Taylor Mali

A grand piano wrapped in quilted pads by movers, tied up
with canvas straps—like classical music’s birthday gift
to the criminally insane—is gently nudged without its legs...

By Ruby Robinson

There is an ash tree behind this house. You
can see it from our bedroom window.
If you stare at it for long enough, you’ll see...

By Russell Edson

After a series of indiscretions a man stumbled homeward, thinking, now that I am going down from my misbehavior I am to be forgiven, because how I acted was not the true self, which I am now returning to. And...

By Adrian Matejka

The first space shuttle launch got delayed until
Sunday, so we had to watch the shuttle’s return
to Earth in class instead—PS113’s paunchy black...

By Mark Jarman

Dear God, Our Heavenly Father, Gracious Lord,
Mother Love and Maker, Light Divine,
Atomic Fingertip, Cosmic Design,...

By Christina Rossetti

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? ...

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