Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and fall and rise again. I am a poet, yes. Surely I am a great poet. Boats and youth passing and distant trees, ‘the falling fountains of the pendent trees.’ I see it all, I feel it all. I am inspired. My eyes fill with tears. Yet even as I feel this, I lash my frenzy higher and higher. It foams. It becomes artificial, insincere. Words and words and words, how they gallop–how they lash their long manes and tails, but for some fault in me I cannot give myself to their backs; I cannot fly with them, scattering woman and string bags. There is some flaw in me–some fatal hesitancy, which, if I pass it over, turns to foam and falsity. Yet it is incredible that I should not be a great poet. What did I write last night if it was not poetry? Am I too fast, too facile? I do not know, I do not know myself sometimes, or how to measure and name and count out the grains that make me what I am.
–The Waves, Virginia Woolf