The Hobgoblin posted on what it’s like when his unconscious mind takes over in the writing process, and then I came across this poem by Jane Kenyon, entitled “Who”:
These lines are written
by an animal, an angel,
a stranger sitting in my chair;
by someone who already knows
how to live without trouble
among books, and pots and pans ….
Who is it who asks me to find
language for the sound
a sheep’s hoof makes when it strikes
a stone? And who speaks
the words which are my food?
She’s talking about the same thing the Hobgoblin is, I think — what it’s like when another part of the writer, the unconscious mind perhaps, takes over. Oh, and I just remembered that this same thing happened to the main character Ka from Orhan Pamuk’s novel Snow. Ka is a poet and periodically throughout the novel he’ll feel a poem coming on, like a sneeze, so he’ll stop whatever he’s doing and write. He writes a whole book of poems this way.