Shep, the other day you said you were once told that there's only one question a critic should attempt to answer and that is, 'Does this achieve what it set out to do? ' I've been thinking about that and in discussions I've had (or overheard) with novelist friends and acquaintances over the years, they always talk about how they don't really know where their story will go when they start writing. They might start out with some inspiration or an idea but they're not really thinking about what they're trying to 'achieve.' Maybe it's different with poets since you can more easily think out a poem in advance. I'm curious, so this is a question for anyone who'd like to answer it. What is the mental process you go through when you write a poem? Is most of the theme and direction thought out before you start writing and do you have a pretty firm idea of what it is you're trying to 'achieve? ' Or do you just start out with a snippet and see where it leads?