INSPIRATION (Lat. “breathing in”). Every poet recognizes that, during poetic composition, material emerges — words, images, figures, rhythms — from sources which lie beyond the pale of consciousness. Conscious effort and craft may indeed produce such material, but at least some material seems to come into the mind from that place we know only as other.
T.V.F. Brogan, from the New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, edited by Alex Preminger and T.V.F. Brogan