This pithy summary of the difference between prose and poetry is as much as Orlando gleans from the convoluted accounts of a poet to whom he has opened his home, larder, wine cellar, purse and poetic aspirations, in the hope of some helpful guidance.  Not forthcoming.

‘Of the nature of poetry itself, Orlando only gathered that it was harder to sell than prose, and though the lines were shorter took longer in the writing.’

Source: Virginia Woolf, Orlando: A Biography, ed. with an introduction by Rachel Bowlby (Oxford: World’s Classics, 1992), p. 84

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