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 Marie Ponsot

I don’t know what to say to you, neighbor,
as you shovel snow from your part of our street   
neat in your Greek black. I’ve waited for   ...

By Laetitia Pilkington

I ask not wit, nor beauty do I crave,
Nor wealth, nor pompous titles wish to have;
But since, 'tis doomed through all degrees of life,...

By Louise Bogan

Women have no wilderness in them,
They are provident instead,
Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts...

By Judith Ortiz Cofer

They are thin
and rarely marry, living out
their long lives...

By Alfred Corn

Loaf after loaf, in several sizes,
and never does it not look fresh,
as though its insides weren’t moist...

By Barbara Guest

The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word   
recovered itself, began to spread as grass, forced   
as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where   ...

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge

All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And Winter slumbering in the open air, ...

By Rachel Sherwood

As this suburban summer wanders toward dark
cats watch from their driveways — they are bored
and await miracles. The houses show, through windows...

By William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;...

By Marilyn Nelson

Today in America people were bought and sold:
five hundred for a "likely Negro wench."
If someone at auction is worth her weight in gold,...

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