Real Toads, Imaginary Gardens: On Reading and Writing Poetry Forensically (Paperback)

Real Toads, Imaginary Gardens: On Reading and Writing Poetry Forensically By Paisley Rekdal Cover Image

Real Toads, Imaginary Gardens: On Reading and Writing Poetry Forensically (Paperback)

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An illuminating exploration of how to read and understand poetry, and how reading critically can teach us to write.


What makes reading a poem unlike reading anything else? While there are as many ways to read a poem as there are types of poetry, every poem demands a conscious attention to language. Reading poems forensically helps us bring that attention to our own writing.


In Real Toads, Imaginary Gardens, acclaimed poet and teacher Paisley Rekdal demonstrates how to observe the building blocks of a poem—including its diction, form, imagery, and rhythm—and construct an interpretation of its meaning. Through close analyses of contemporary and classic poems as well as creative exercises and specific, skill-based questions, this book shows how a poem takes shape and accrues meaning through the intersection of all its lyric elements. Lucid and generous, Real Toads, Imaginary Gardens reveals how to read and write critically, and how to appreciate—and achieve—the exhilarating craft of poetry.



Paisley Rekdal is the author of ten books of poetry and nonfiction, including Appropriate: A Provocation. The director of the American West Center and a distinguished professor of English at the University of Utah, she lives in Salt Lake City.
Product Details ISBN: 9780393881981
ISBN-10: 0393881989
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: October 22nd, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English