When we read a novel we go from the beginning to the end without stopping, sequentially. It is like a trek or a race, with a well defined final destination. If the novel is one of those we can’t stop reading, and we finish it in a couple of days, it’s like a race. If it is a dense work it’s like a trek with steep uphill parts that suddenly open in a wide panoramic view, or a narrow track between brambles that leads to unexpected places. A dull work would be like a long walk on a road.
What about poetry? Here we do not go directly from the beginning to the end without stopping. We read some verses, we raise our look from the book and let them settle down, we go on, stop, go back and reread a part, stop again, go on … Reading poetry is more like wandering around a botanical garden.