he was a young man about thirty. I never had him in class, but I used to go to him. He’d read aloud and we’d talk, he was very pleasant that way. He’d smoke honey-scented tobacco, and read Baudelaire and Shakespeare and Hopkins—it made the thing living—and he’d read his own poems. I wrote very badly at first, but he was encouraging and enthusiastic. That probably was decisive, that there was someone there whom I admired who was engaged in writing poetry.
I think it probably wants to say it gives life to some thing, am I right? Actually my question is what is the thing refer to??