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 Howard Nemerov

The house is so quiet now
The vacuum cleaner sulks in the corner closet,
Its bag limp as a stopped lung, its mouth...

By Kwame Dawes

You got that clean waistcoat,
the bright white of a well-tailored
shirt, you got those loose-as-sacks...

By Craig Arnold

Your first thought when the light snaps on and the black wings
             clatter about the kitchen       is a bat
...

By Mary Jo Salter

My husband has a crush on Myrna Loy,
and likes to rent her movies, for a treat.
It makes some evenings harder to enjoy....

By Rowan Ricardo Phillips

He never saw a violin.
But he saw a lifetime of violence.
...

By Ezra Pound

No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,   
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness;...

By Phillip B. Williams

A monstrosity in the alley.
A many-bodied movement grouped
for terror, their flights’ brief shadows...

By W. S. Merwin

Comet of stillness princess of what is over
       high note held without trembling without voice without sound
aura of complete darkness keeper of the kept secrets...

What People are Saying

"I learned that I enjoyed poetry - a lot. I'm known as the "football guy" at my school and it surprised me, and others, that poetry would be a big part of my life. Also, I realized that I not bad at performing and public speaking."
Marquavious Moore
2017 TN POL Champion