Inspiration, afflatus, fury, frenzy, especially when qualified by divine or poetic, all designate the seemingly involuntary element in the arts of expression for which the artist often holds a power outside himself responsible.
Inspiration may distinctively imply a preternatural enlightening and quickening of the mind and connote, especially when used by religious persons, the intervention of or as if of such a supernatural influence as the Holy Spirit.
Often, from its use in connection with the authorship of the Scriptures, inspiration implies supernatural or supranatural communication of knowledge.
Afflatus distinctively applies to the inspiring influence rather than to the process or its effects, but it also may name a quality rather than an influence or an operation. Fury and frenzy emphasize the emotional excitement that attends artistic creation and the tendency of the artist to be carried out of himself.
Fury , found most often in the phrases “poetic fury” and “divine fury,” does not in ordinary use imply extreme agitation; it characteristically connotes profound ecstasy induced by the poet’s vision or conception.
Frenzy usually implies agitation rather than rapture, and stresses the imaginative or inventive element in creation, sometimes to the exclusion of any extraneous influence.