Begin with the object,
said Dartmouth's Professor Cook to me
after his lecture-and-reading
at Franconia's Frost Place.
I was just sixteen.
Begin with the object?
I was buzzed on Dylan Thomas,
drunk on the sound of the word,
so I was discouraged, a bit,
by what seemed prosaic advice --
but heartened, a few moments later,
when the sagacious academician
of bald brown head and black beard turning white
proffered the compliment:
You ask the right questions!