As the Old Master said, “It’s just a line
That gets you started on a would-be poem,”
No abstract scheme or fanciful design,
Just let your morning mind begin to roam,
Tune in to that elusive, vital source,
Like finding on a crystal a sweet spot
That fills your earphones by a magic force
With far-off sounds some other brain begot.
And don’t be too inquisitive about
The nature of this vatic provenance,
But cultivate an attitude devout
While line by line you see your verse advance.
Your job’s to be receptive to what comes
Then amplify what at the first just hums.