Around 20 years ago I began to try and write some poetry, love poems, to help express the feelings that I could not easily communicate verbally. Love poems became an outlet for my emotions to be a bit more daring and free. As the years went by I would find myself returning to writing love poetry. The more time I spent writing the more I knew I needed to learn about the craft.

Lately, I have been studying poetry, and looking for my niche in the genre of romantic poetry. Some parts I find easy, other parts of writing quite challenging. Nonetheless I have managed to write a number of love poems that I have enjoyed and wish to share those written expressions with you.

Love Poem: My Emotions Amiss by Rick Dixon

I have been taking a number of poetry writing classes at my local community college, Anne Arundel Community College. The experience has been most enjoyable! It has helped me produce a handful of poems that I have placed onto this website.

Love Poem: Eros by Rick Dixon

I hope to expand my poetry to topics beyond relationships and love poems, such as the beauty found in nature. I have written a few and they are listed among the love poems in my poetry menu.

I have become a fan of Emily Dickinson's hymn meter poems. Hymn meter poems are typically short and align to church hymn stressed and unstressed patterns. I have a webpage specifically about Dickinson. You will see it listed in the menus or can click here to go there: All About Emily Dickinson

I have a similar webpage on Shakespeare: All About Shakespeare

I have a chapbook webpage. It contains most of the poems I have written over the years. A link to the chapbook is on my poetry webpage or you can click on My Chapbook to jump over there immediately.

My Chapbook

chapbook definition

Mary Oliver book:  A Poetry Handbook book cover image

The Best Book on Writing Poetry

Everybody has their favorite book to answer their questions. For the question on how to write a poem Mary Oliver's book A Poetry Handbook is the absolute authority on poetry! When I get lost in my own poetic craft, I find myself going back to this book for solid advice.

Also important to mention is not only do aspiring poets need definitive instruction on writing poems, they also need to be reading as much quality poetry as possible. Mary Oliver once again rises to the top. Her poetry is among the very best of American poets. And just like books, it is difficult to pick a favorite, the same holds true with poets. Yet what is best, is we don't have to limit our selection of the best poets, poems or books!

My Favorite Poem

It is impossible to pick one poem and call it your favorite as there are so many wonderful poems out there. Different poems relate differently to you depending on your place in the world when you read it. Broken-hearted will have you loving a different poem than if you are out walking on the Appalachian Trail. A lot of my time I sit in front of the computer. The background on my monitor has Yeat's He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven:

Poem: He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W.B. Yeats

Listen To the Great Poets Read their Poems

In a world of digital recordings the CD has begun to see its end-of-life. I hope these two great collections soon become available online for downloading. Reading poetry is great, yet hearing it read by the writer is awesome! Both of these CD collections are available on Amazon at this point in time. These are a real joy and easily transferred to your smart phone or MP3 player. These are two examples, there are others available. website banner.

A wonderful website for the Poe enthusiast! Contains both poems and stories.

Furious Rhyme Phone App

Hair: square, pair, bear, wear, rare, affair ...

There are many phone apps available to poets and writers. My favorite rhyming dictionary is Furious Rhyme. It is perfect! It is quick, easy, and not burdened by useless features. I use this on my iPhone but assume it is also available for Android phones as well.

Furious Rhyme phone app

Poetry Book Depository

The Ode Less Traveled - Stephen Fry
September 2020

The Ode Less Travelled book cover

Believing that “poetry is a primal impulse within us all,” Mr. Fry aims to prove it in “The Ode Less Traveled: Unlocking the Poet Within.” Mercifully he is vehemently against the school of “just express yourself” tutelage under which many schoolchildren (and their parents) suffer, likening that method to a music teacher sitting a new pupil down at the piano and telling her to bang away.

Poetry: Tools & Techniques - John C. Goodman
September 2020
Poetry: Tools & Technicques book cover

In any art there are tools and there is imagination. One must learn the tools and be able to utilize them without having to think about them. This frees up the mind to be fully engages in the creative process. There are many books on tools in the poetry writing market. I am happy if I learn one new technique for every book read. Learning is perpetual!

How To Write A Poem: 21 Traits - Rafa Selase
October 2020
How to Write a Poem - 21 Traits of great poetry book cover

Many times I have purchased a book solely on its cover. At times that is the only information we have on its contents. Such is the case with book. I was truly interested in the 21 traits. Rafa Selase, please, please, please reprint this book! It is printed in such a tiny font size that to say it is difficult to read is a gross understatement. Since I have started with a complaint I will say I was completely disappointed in the book's cover. I learned nothing of any traits of neither the poet nor how to write a poem. Another book that will never be given away to a book sale. It would be wrong to waste the efforts of any other sincere searching poet.

The Poet's Companion - Kim Addonizio & Dorianne Laux
September 2020
The Poet's Companion book cover

I need some occasional magic in my life! I am excited to read this book on my Kindle! This book will be my last read for 2019. I am looking for lots of occasional magic in the years to come!

Love Poems and Sonnets of William Shakespeare
Completed 2DEC19
Love Poems and Sonnets of William Shakespeare book cover

I purchased this book not because of the topic; I have Shakespeare's work in a number of books already on my bookshelf. This book had more content. It contained some old love letters, notes, magazine clippings, etc.

It was a joy to look back in time to an earlier owner of the book. The letter was dated 1963. It brings more life to a used book when its history comes forward with it.

Connected Sonnets - Edna St. Vincent Millay
Completed 22October19
Connected Sonnets - Edna St. Vincent Millay book cover

Picked up this collection of sonnets at a used bookstore. I like the iambic pentameter of the sonnet and believe I should be writing them. I struggle when attempting to write them and hope by reading more sonnets I will pick up on how to better create them.

Complete Sonnets - William Shakespeare
Completed 20OCT19
Complete Sonnets of William Shakespeare book cover

My idol of poetry! Anyone interested in sonnets must have an interest in Shakespeare. I have an audio version of this collection to listen to while driving.

The Ecclesiastical Sonnets or William Wordsworth
Completed 20OCT19
The Ecclesiastical Sonnets of William Wordsworth book cover

My focus on the sonnet has led me to a number of poets other than William Shakespeare.

The Art of Emily Dickinson's Early Poetry - David T. Porter
Completed 17OCT19
The Art of Emily Dickinson's Early Poetry book cover

This book is like a college course on the great poet* Emily Dickinson. It is always enjoyable to know what is going on in the mind of a poet. I am an avid reader of her poems and find her life story interesting.

* While a female poet is called a poetess, most female poets prefer to be called poets.

The New Poems of Emily Dickinson - William H. Shurr, Editor
Completed 16OCT19
The New Poems of Emily Dickinson book cover

The poems that look like poems make up these final additions to Dickinson's work. These "poems" were collected from letters and envelopes and other notes. All of her writing adds up to an amazing collection of work!

Asleep with Whippoorwills - J. Wesley Clark
Completed 15OCT19
Asleep with Whipporrwills book cover

I wrote a poem about whippoorwills a few months back. When I saw this small collection of poems I was anxious to read another poem on the bird and it's call. It's a nice collection of poems, the kind of collection that I would like to someday publish myself.

Black Book of Poems - Vincent K. Netanyahu
Black Book of Poems book cover

This book popped in an ad somewhere on line and it captured my attention enough to order a copy. It is a short collection of poems. They have a little edge to them - like a surgical blade. The author has another book of poems - book 2 - I was not Crying Over You. That sounds interesting!

Good Poems for Hard Times - Garrison Kellor
Poetry Reference
Good Poems for Hard Times book cover

I picked this up at one of my local booksellers. At first glance it appears to be a collection of motivational poems for those needing a little boost in their everyday life. It will join a growing collection of books of poems. Always nearby to enjoy and reflect upon.

99 Poems in Translation
99 Poems in Translation book cover

While attending a poetry writing class at my local community college I saw this book among a collection of books that the instructor brought to class. I loved many of the poems it contained and had ordered my very own copy before I even left the class. It is a fine collection of poetry from around the world! I read on the back cover that it has an associated collection. I will need to check into that one as well.

Poetry and Prose - John Donne
Longterm read
Poetry and Prose - John Donne book cover

I have been immersed in poetry lately and have picked up a lot of book son that subject. This book is a good collection of John Donne's poetry and prose. There are so many great poems included!

The Poems of Doctor Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
Completed 11SEP19
The Poems of Doctor Zhivago book cover

I stumbled upon this book at one of my favorite local, used bookstores. I have always loved the movie Doctor Zhivago. I even managed to see the very short run of it on Broadway. The poems in the book don't surpass the movie, but it was a nice read and a great reminder of the movie.

The Subject Tonight is Love - Hafiz
Completed 10SEP19
The Subject Tonight is Love book cover

A beautiful collection of 60 poems by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky. The collection focuses on love and ecstasy poems by Persian Hafiz. It is a wonderful read leaving you feeling better than when you started. As often is the case in a collection of poems, a number of them reach out in particular, making an impression at the time of their reading.

The Poems of W.B. Yeats / A New Edition - Yeats
Started on 27AUG19 - Long term read
The Poems of W.B. Yeats book cover

I picked up the complete works of W.B. Yeats at one of my local used bookstores. Its over 700 pages and I have no plans of reading it straight through. Instead I will keep it nearby and call on it often. I have yet to look it over much but saw that there is a section of explanatory notes which sounds intuiting!

Yeats wrote the poem: He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven. I find it to be one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read. Hopefully I will find many more great poems in this book!


Sailing Around the Room - Billy Collins
Completed 26AUG19
Sailing Around the Room book cover

I have amassed a nice collection of Billy Collins' books of poetry, and all for good reason. He is a master at writing poetry. This book in particular did not strike me as one of his most enjoyable reads, but that can certainly be attributed to my mood at the time of reading. While I have never scientifically monitored the mood vs. the reading, it seems only logical to make an assumption that mood impacts reading poetry. Nonetheless, always great poems from Collins and worthy of one’s time.

Elizabethan Poetry: An Anthology
The Crescent Moon Book of Elizabethan Love Poetry
Completed 26AUG19
Elizabethean Poetry book cover
Elizabethan Love Poetry book cover

If there is truth in the saying that to be a better writer you must be a better reader, and I do believe it to be true, then I am doing my part in helping me become a better writer of poetry. I am envious of the verse that can make one's heart cry out. I hope to learn to write in a similar manner that can produce similar results.

The poetry I have been writing mostly finds its way to by blog. Eventually I shall update my poetry on this website.

When the Time Comes A Selection of Contemporary Belgian Poetry
Completed 25AUG19
When the Time Comes book cover

I am reading like a student of poetry! When th time comes for my classes to start I will hopefully be well exposed to many more poems than when I first started classes. Not much rocked my world in this collection. But nonetheless worth the time spent reading.

The Love Poems of Thomas Carew - Thomas Carew
Complted 25AUG19
The Love Poems of Thomas Carew book cover

I picked this book up at Unicorn Bookshop on the eastern shore area of MD. I knew nothing of the writer but feel he must have been a friend of Shakespeare! I do need to research that. The poems were fabulous! And I am starting to enjoy used books more and more. They bring along stories from their past! if one enjoys the love poems of Shakespeare and Poe, this makes a nice addition.

Chosen Poems - Old and New - Audre Lorde
Completed 25AUG19
Chosen Poems book cover

I picked up a few used books in Annapolis and all were collections of poetry. I must be prepping for my return to taking poetry-writing classes.

I admit complete ignorance of the writer but found the book to be a great collection of her work and while not memorable over time, it is relevant with the upcoming classes in mind.

When the Men Go Off to War - Victoria Kelly
Completed 3AUG19
When the MenGo Off to War book cover

Copied from Collecting the nationally-recognized poems of Victoria Kelly, When the Men Go Off to War captures the hopes, anxieties, and intimacies of the military spouse during a time of war. Written over the course of her husband's deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan, these haunting poems span vast geographical distances and generations, moving between the literal and the fanciful to find community in the midst of isolation.

I picked up the book at a local used bookstore and was happy to see that it is a signed copy of the book. I was not as impressed with the poems as many others seem to be noting her accolades. They were not as emotionally deep as I had hoped for. Maybe it is my male perspective, and the poetry would resonate more with women?

A Lonely Woman: Forugh Farrokzad and Her Poetry
Completed 2AUG19
A Lonely Woman book cover

I picked up the book at a local used bookstore mostly out of feeling obligated to make a purchase. What ultimately placed the book into my hand for purchase was the Preface. It speaks of Iran, and how men treat women in their society. The poems supposedly reflect the culture while telling the emotions of the poet. I don't know why, but I feel there will be some surprise hidden inside he book. Perhaps a great poem! I will soon know.

Letters to a Young Poet - Rainer Maria Rilke
Complted 3AUG19
Letters to a Young Poet book cover

This book was referenced in a book I read earlier. I forget where, but at some point I marked for purchase from Amazon and eventually hit the SEND button. The title alone was intriguing enough for me.

The book itself is far from what I had expected. Harsh comment, but seemingly good.

Franz Xavier Kappus wrote to Rainer Maria Rilke in early 1903. To Kappus' delight, the poet replied. They continued a correspondence that lasted for nearly 6 years. The book contains 10 letters that Rilke wrote to Kappus, advising the young man on poetry and life.

Sonnets from the Portuguese - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Completed: 27JUN19
Sonnets from the Portuguese book cover

I don't know how I got to my years in life and not been immersed in poetry. On the other hand it is wonderful to be having such a wonderful introduction at this point in life! I am somewhat overwhelmed with all the great works available. Elizabeth Barrett Browning produced amazing poetry and at a time when women were forced to be compliant in their position in society. For those that broke free, it shows in their greatness of what they gave to all of us. This is a book that will never need dusting. I will keep it near my reach.

The Practice of Poetry - Robin Behn & Chase Twichell
Completed: 23JUN19 (Though often to be revisited)
The Practice of Poetry book cover

I am rather immersed in my poetry classes. While I enjoy them immensely I also am adding to them a lot of reading outside of the classroom. I forget what captured my attention about this book but it managed to make it onto my Amazon check out and made its way onto my desk. Here's to hoping it is a great read!

I started reading this book. It is a collection of poetry writing prompts and improvements to apply to one's writing. Each idea is short and you can quickly read through them and gather up a handful of prompts to try. Its going to be a fun book!

Why I Wake Early - Mary Oliver
Completed: 22JUN19
Why I Wake Early book cover

Leading the pack of poets I have been recently courting is Mary Oliver. Her poetry is beautiful and inspiring to me as I look forward to extending my poetic topics beyond personal relationship encounters. It seems a natural choice for me to write poetry about the world around me, I photograph that very same world. In photography one pays attention in great detail of one's surroundings. Writing poetry requires much of the same. This book is a small collection of her poems. One can blaze through it in well under an hour, but don't. Stop and think after each poem; breathe.

Rules for the Dance - Mary Oliver
Completed: 21JUN19
Rules for the Dance book cover

I am new to the poet Mary Oliver. I just finished her book on writing poetry and consider it one of the best books on any type of writing that I have ever read! With great anticipation I am looking forward to reading Rules for the Dance - A handbook for writing and reading metrical verse. Being about the same size as her Poetry Handbook, I assume I will enjoy his book enough to complete it in one sitting!

As I assumed I read this book in a few hours. It is a great book, but I feel it is a little beyond my abilities at this point in time. I will shelve the book for a few weeks and return to it and reread it when I am ready to better understand it.

poemcrazy - Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge
CompletedL 21JUN19
poemcrazy book cover

I owned this book before. I recently donated when I moved back at the turn of the year. Then I signed up for poetry writing classes. Not surprising, this book was touted as a favorite. It had been at least 6 or 7 years since I read it.

I just finished reading this book. It has a few good stories and a few good points in it. Overall, I belove I have recently read much better poetry related books. Maybe I did not get much from the book the first time I read it - that would support why I did not remember the book.

Poetry: A Survivor's Guide - Mark Yakima
Finished: 19MAY19
Poetry: A Survivor's Guide book cover

Yet another book borrowed for free from my local library. So many books - so little time - yet all available to borrow for free. What a great concept!

Like many of the recent books that I have read on the word craft of writing poetry, this book adds to the voluminous amount of excellent information for the budding poet. I am starting to see a theme develop here. Books on writing about poetry seem to be filled with more emotional content than many of the books I have read about writing prose. Of course there a few of those I have written about below that rock the reader’s world - but overall they don't reach as deep into the emotions as my recent reads on writing poetry.

Aimless Love and Nine Horses - Billy Collins
Finished: 16JUN19
Aimless Love book cover
Nine Horses book cover

Being hooked on the amazing poems written by Billy Collins I chased down two other of his books. They both came in second to The Rain in Portugal which now reigns supreme in my opinion. No matter what you read of Billy Collins you will find wonderful poetry!

The Rain in Portugal - Billy Collins
Finished: 10JUN19
The Rain in Portugal book cover

This book is an excellent collection of Poems from Billy Collins. There are more poems in this collection that really touch me than in nay other collection of poems by an individual poet. I borrowed the book from my local library and found it difficult to return it. I hope others have and will enjoy it as I have.

I just received a text that someone I know wants to give me their copy of The Rain in Portugal - signed by Billy Collins! Wow! Poetry is amazing!

Mary Oliver - A Poetry Handbook
Finished: 8JUN19
A Poetry Handbook book cover

I have been taking a poetry writing class in the evening. It has introduced me to a number of great poets, many that I had not known. One of which is Mary Oliver. I may have been the last person left in the world that was not familiar with the poetry - I was in the class. She has written the best poetry writing book that I can imagine. I read it twice. It is good and augments my evening classes perfectly! I was not intending to become a poet, I simply wanted to improve my nonfiction writing skills, but I may have been shortsighted in that view. I am really enjoying the practice of writing poetry.

Love Poems to No One - N.R. Hart
Finished: 18MAY19
Love Poems to No One book cover

N.R. Hart has made her mark on social media. Here short poems of romantic emotion delight the hearts of many every post she makes. Her latest book is a collection of her more recent poems. She never disappoints! Her words strike the emotions of any breathing soul.

Her third book, this one comes in hard cover, which I personally find as a distraction to the simplicity of her modem writing. One should not judge a book by its cover, nor I suppose judge a book despite its cover. It is the contact that counts and she is the queen of modern, romantic poetry.

Grab a half-gallon of chocolate ice cream, a spoon, and the book.

Every Word You Cannot Say - Iain S. Thomas
Finished: 18MAY19
Every Word You Cannot Say book cover

Picked this gem up at the Barnes & Noble at Columbia Mall. I was there to attend a book signing that included a favorite writer of modern, romantic poetry. While looking around the store I spotted this book on an end cap. The cover sold me. I did not even take a peek inside the book or glance at the back cover. I was not disappointed! This book of poetic emotions reminds me of a book from a long time back - How to Survive the Loss of a Love. Both books read alike. Both books are packed with emotion that is easily digested. A fine purchase indeed!

The Top 500 Poems - presented by William Harmon
Finished 1MAY19
The Top 500 Poems book cover

What a find!I picked this gem up at a used book sale and have been absolutely delighted with it! A grand collection and the timing could not have been more perfect as I am currently taking a poetry class. This collection was published in 1995 so a little dated but nonetheless good.

One never really finishes a book like this. It will been within easy reach for future enjoyment.

Writing Metrical Poetry - William Bear
Finished 20APR19
Writing Metrical Poetry book cover

In preparation of an upcoming writing class at the Anne Arundel Community College I dusted off one of my old books and read it gain for the first time. I don't remember reading this book. Quite possibly I purchased and then never got around to actually reading it. That does happen - more times than I should admit.

The book is excellent! It led me through just about everything a budding poet needs to know. I am ready for my poetry writing class!

Love Comes First - Erica Jong
Read: 24JAN19
Love Comes First book cover

I stopped into my local library this afternoon. It has been a few years since my library card was active and I took a moment to get a new card. A quick visual assessment and I ended up in poetry and writing. Love Comes First was one of the two books I checked out. Seems like it should come first, both love and this book at the library.

I had never read any of Erica Jong's work. This collection of poetry made for a quick read. Overall I must say I was not emotionally impressed in a way that I believe love poetry should move a person. The poems were - OK. What I did notice though was that among the poems were amazing great sentences. Those sentences made for some really great writing. It was not enough in my opinion to pull the rest of the poem along with it. But great sentences - there are some within this book.

Love Her Wild - Atticus
Love Her Wild book cover

Love Her Wild is a collection of short poetry placed on Instagram by Atticus, a storyteller and observer living in California. It is a quick and enjoyable read of love poetry.

My interest in the book is my searching for perfect sentences that convey strong emotional impact. Love poetry often contains such moving words. I enjoyed the poetry, but must say I read nothing that was WOW! Probably a satisfying read for the broken hearted and lonely.

You can visit him on Instagram: @atticuspoetry

Complete Tales & Poems - Edgar Allen Poe
Complete Tales & Poems book cover

Just in time for the month of October! There is an area in the woods not all that far from where i grew up that has ties to the Poe family and along with those ties some folklore. Adding to that that living in Baltimore at one point, I feel another tug of connection. Years back I went to visit his Baltimore home and his grave site.

I enjoy reading Poe as I believe many do. This collection had all the favorites tales and poetry - of which my favorite Poe poem is Annabel Lee.

My Poetry

I have my poems all contained in a chapbook on one webpage. It is the easiest way and quickest way to view them:

Chapbook: Poems by Rick Dixon

Below is the first poem in my collection of my romantic poetry. All but a few are love poems. As I write more poetry that is not romantic, I will make a better menu for easier navigation. You can use the menu of the right side to link to all others poems. Or you can go to the first poem by using the link in the above and below menus or by clicking on the above My Poetry headline.

Two Friends at Lunch

It's just two friends at lunch you see
with lives from pasts lived separately.
Close friends once, but never lovers.
Though silently desired one, the other.

Adventures to tell, the smile on her face.
My feelings kept quiet, to remain in their place.
Though I shall wonder as I look in her eyes
if I should tell of my feelings inside.

Maybe she'll see them without any words.
Maybe she won't. My thoughts so absurd!
Alone it's been me that's carried this weight,
thirteen long years to sit face-to-face.

Across a small table, our hearts within reach.
A chance to tell her, but they're words I can't speak.
Alas, many a tale having come to its end,
they minutes flew by, the time has been spent.

A chance has been given, life's answered my prayers.
But nothing has changed - it seems so unfair!
I'll always wonder, one last look in her eyes.
Should I have told of those feelings I hide.

But it's just two friends at lunch you see.
Things left unsaid - for eternity.


Rick Dixon signature 1995

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