Write a quatrain (four-line poem) on the topic of America. Post your submissions into the comments section below with your general location, such as city and state.

When: From now (June 30) until July 24 midnight. Winner announced August 1.
What: A quatrain (four-line poem) on anything within the broad theme of America. On your honor, it should be newly written within the time frame of this competition. Rhyme and meter is recommended but not required.
Prize: An Official Winner’s Certificate awarded by the Society and the addition of your name to the increasing list of accomplished winners. Winner announced August 1.
Entry fee: none
Judge: Society Advisory Board Members (who don’t participate in the contest) and Society Staff.
Submit: Post your poem directly into the comments section of this post or on our Facebook page. (No more than two poems per poet please)

 

Winners

Participating Judges: William Ruleman, James Sale, Bruce Dale Wise, Michael Curtis

 

FIRST PLACE

So young, this nation of searching souls,
among a world of ancient schemes.
Growing pains that make us whole
stretch our will, expand our dreams.

L. W. Owen, Mississippi

 

SECOND PLACE

America, your greatness does not lie
In billionaires, or towers that pierce the sky.
You were the light of hope to common men.
Be so much more than great: be good again.

Lorna Davis, California

The pilgrims came and died or lived
in fealty to an oath they swore,
and bought with pain the precious grain
that made them rich though they were poor.

Michael R. Burch, Nashville, Tennessee

 

THIRD PLACE

Ablaze with freedoms bright desire
America remains
The kindling of the raging fire
Democracy sustains.

Don Shook, Texas

Through Ellis Island’s gate they came
with hopes of living free
in this land we love, and think highly of,
our land of liberty!

Wendy Lee Klenetsky

 

HONORABLE MENTION

For what we stand, for what we believe,
for what we work, for what we receive,
for heroes, sheroes, and home of the brave,
for Stars and Stripes, for still She waves.

Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi, St. Louis, Missouri

My dear country, I fear for you
My heart and soul are near to you
The land of the free and of my birth
The last frontier, here upon the earth

David Paul Behrens, La Verne, California

A red bandanna and blue jeans,
One Rand McNally atlas.
Stone monuments on village greens,
Driving the kids to practice.

Reid McGrath, Pawling, New York

George Washington—on Purgatory Hill—
Feted his men to beer and barbeque.
On this same slope—loafing in laurel still—
I peer out at the pyrotechnic view.

Reid McGrath, Pawling, New York

Boom
Pow
‘merica coming at you now
With fireworks

Bret Mantyk, Brooklyn, New York

Land of the plucky trier,
the world longs to kiss you.
Our friendly high-flier
– in Britain we miss you.

Cathy Bryant, Derbyshire, Great Britain

Related Post

2018 Poetry Competition Announced Submit three to five poems, each of which does not exceed 50 lines. Email as a word file or in the email body to submissions@classicalpoets.org. Put...

49 Responses

  1. Jim Young, New York

    The fragrance of grilled meat wafts by
    And greets old friends as they arrive
    The fluffy clouds dissolve to sky
    And I am glad that I’m alive.

    Reply
  2. LUCY CORTESE

    now listen kid you must behave and learn to control your rage
    better it is to refrain from anger for actions reveal your age
    but mom I think it’s ok to shout scream stomp and loudly vent
    when I master the most obnoxious behavior I’ll run for President

    Reply
  3. Juanita Hamilton, Clinton Twp. Michigan

    I awoke from the American dream all covered
    in products from a large communist state.
    I thought, “Since when have our people cowered
    From fights that once long ago made us great?”

    Reply
  4. Alan W. Jankowski

    There’s an election going on this year,
    And surely one will win, and one will lose.
    Though as I look over the meager choices,
    I just wish we had more from which to chose.

    Reply
  5. Michael R. Burch

    The pilgrims came and died or lived
    in fealty to an oath they swore,
    and bought with pain the precious grain
    that made them rich though they were poor.

    Reply
  6. Michael R. Burch

    Apache blood, Comanche tears
    were shed, and still they went to war;
    they fought for earth and freedom’s birth—
    these were Her riches, and still are.

    Reply
  7. Michael R. Burch

    I lived as best I could, and then I died.
    Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.
    And if I am “only Muslim,” who are you?
    Was I not American too?

    Reply
  8. Shari Jo LeKane-Yentumi

    For what we stand, for what we believe,
    for what we work, for what we receive,
    for heroes, sheroes, and home of the brave,
    for Stars and Stripes, for still She waves.

    Reply
  9. Neal Dachstadter

    Amerigo Vespucci

    Which name ought be chanted,
    Wherever songs rejoice,
    The same wrought in granite,
    And magnified, in voice.

    Reply
  10. wendy lee klenetsky

    Through Ellis Island’s gate they came
    with hopes of living free
    in this land we love, and think highly of,
    our land of liberty!

    Reply
  11. Claire Marie de la Grange

    The Pentagon has just greenlighted transgender recruits,
    and voted yea to women on the front-line battlefield.
    God forbid that friendly-fire’s eventually revealed,
    or women soldiers have to fight physical abuse.

    Reply
  12. Sandra Sowers Platt

    Fourth of July
    Sandra Sowers Platt

    Red, white and blue stars fall from July’s night sky;
    Explosions of celebration serenade amid summer air!
    Citizens rejoice with freedom’s loud musical reply.
    We watch our American flag fly with pride’s loving care.

    Reply
  13. Brian Mc Cabe

    Still standing strong, this seven-four
    Our destiny still calls
    By mountain side and ocean’s shore
    And blue sky over all

    Reply
  14. Reid McGrath

    America

    Untactful, yet as sharp as any knife;
    Loved or loathed; the popular girl in class.
    We wonder how she’ll govern later life
    Once—if?—the Glory Days have passed…

    Pawling, New York

    Reply
  15. Lorna Davis

    America, your greatness does not lie
    In billionaires, or towers that pierce the sky.
    You were the light of hope to common men.
    Be so much more than great: be good again.

    Reply
  16. Voiculescu Bogdan

    I land upon a distant shore
    where we may try anew.
    Though these words were said before,
    I must believe we are the chosen few.

    Reply
  17. Neal Dachstadter

    if two submissions are disallowed, please let this one serve as mine.

    Half – past Britain, Half – past France,
    Old School, Liberal had their dance,
    Cut a rug and stomped the floor,
    Musket, cannon, bar the door.

    Reply
  18. Purva Sharma

    So here i m on my own,
    Standing with myself..
    Far from this world
    It is cool may be that is best now,
    Im gud to be alone in this world,
    Counting the hours until..
    I can come home..with no one else to argue but myself,
    Walking away wen i can,trying not to be,reeled bck into things..
    Just sprinting on nd onn..
    So as to jst console myself..
    This is the life i was given,
    Nd i’ll continue weaving it..
    Here im talking abt free to be me..
    Preparing for the next phase of my life…..

    Reply
  19. Zachary Dilks

    Where pine encrusted mountains meet with golden ocean sands
    And where weathered paths are tried by justly true
    Comes flowing like a fountain from both young and olden hands
    Untethered oneness tinted red and white and blue

    Reply
    • 绿山从 From Green Mountain (Cong Lu Shan)

      In true digital fashion i posted this before ready. but, alas! I can reply to my reply :-)!

      The grand red white and blue
      shines freedom true and fair
      blessed with virtue and peace
      a people true and fair

      blessed with virtue and peace
      a people true and fair
      Abiding heaven’s will
      raising a progen fair

      thus i am submitting these two quatrains, not the previous two. and leave unto your committee to implicate the laws of conduct in this poetic space 🙂

      Reply
      • gm

        Freedom true and fair
        peace and virtue filled
        a grand light noble air
        a destiny fulfilled

  20. Reid McGrath

    America

    A red bandanna and blue jeans,
    One Rand McNally atlas.
    Stone monuments on village greens,
    Driving the kids to practice.

    Reply
  21. Mj sullivan

    America

    A soldier bears extra ammo
    Wife bears an infant low
    Healthy happy happy joy joy
    Pair greets dad’s ship ahoy

    Reply
    • Neal Dachstadter

      likewise: “are Dover’s walls still white?”

      I think that’s from Kipling

      Reply
      • Neal Dachstadter

        as in “we miss you all as well”

  22. Ron Hodges

    I know I’m disqualified because this poem is longer than four lines (it IS written in quatrains, though!), but since writing for the contest inspired me, I thought I’d post it anyway!

    America: An Idea

    America is more than land,
    A walled-off, guarded arena,
    Or the people inside its gates;
    It’s something greater—an idea.

    Not for gold did most risk their lives,
    Nor for flag spill their blood on the
    Soil at home or in distant worlds.
    Their cause was greater—an idea.

    The notion all humans are free,
    And despite their place in the saga,
    Deemed equal by the God above—
    Such was that transcendent idea.

    For a right, if bestowed by men,
    Is sound as shade or chimera,
    Given, or taken, at a whim
    Whenever it suits their idea.

    But our Founders fought for much more—
    A Truth that outlives the era.
    They saw rights fixed in the Heavens,
    Not subject to earthly ideas.

    And free hearts will always outshine
    Those who slave for fear or drachma.
    Our efforts thus far have prevailed
    Through force of a greater idea.

    So long as we eclipse our land,
    We’ll merit more than a stanza
    In the epic of history.
    But we can’t forget the idea

    That has made America great
    Since muskets clouded our vista.
    If we do, we’ll risk joining ranks
    With dead states who had no idea.

    Reply
  23. Jean Abac

    Land of the Free

    Cheers to Paine although he’s gone, his ‘Common Sense’ brought freedom,
    For unbound ties from kings and queens bid more than one’s martyrdom;
    Hitherto, yet still enslaved strict to fleshed hues of his own,
    ‘Men [all equal]’ fought sir Abe: Rule only thy self—thy kingdom!

    Reply
  24. Marvin Mantyk, Lathrup Village, Michigan

    Who I am is how I identify
    Be it fruited plain or azure sky
    Be it Buffalo roaming free
    I’m an American for all to see

    Reply
  25. David Paul Behrens

    My Dear Country La Verne, CA

    My dear country, I fear for you
    My heart and soul are near to you
    The land of the free and of my birth
    The last frontier, here upon the earth

    Reply
  26. Reid McGrath

    Drinking a Beer and Watching the Fireworks over the Village of Pawling

    George Washington—on Purgatory Hill—
    Feted his men to beer and barbeque.
    On this same slope—loafing in laurel still—
    I peer out at the pyrotechnic view.

    Pawling, New York

    Reply
  27. Alina Maria Stan

    From Emily Dickinson’s “rhymes”
    To McDonald’s and its fries
    Or even to Obama’s new vibe
    The American dream is and will always stay alive.

    Reply
  28. L. W. Owen

    American Banner

    Morning blue unites our sky above
    before the red of evening’s sunset widens.
    Moonlight-garden-white completes a field
    of stripes and stars within hope’s grand horizon.

    Reply
  29. Sylvia, Rutherglen, Scotland

    This soil’s soul sings pioneers, brims
    bread that fed a feathered ‘First Folk’
    and now fashions a rainbow yolk
    to hatch no gun of hate but hymns

    Reply
  30. Yogesh

    America…

    Where ideals begin with idea,
    the storming of change in order.
    Where a simpleton may ever be a,
    the Katrina pushing in border.

    Reply
  31. Yogesh

    America…

    Life is what you make of it when in a dilemma,
    dilemma is never a stopping for the souls living in America.
    America never sleeps till the dreams are turned into reality,
    reality is that many are never stopped by the society.

    Reply
  32. L. W. Owen

    America

    So young, this nation of searching souls,
    among a world of ancient schemes.
    Growing pains that make us whole
    stretch our will, expand our dreams.

    Mississippi

    Reply

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