This is a passage from Joe Eck's ELEMENTS OF GARDEN DESIGN that seems entirely applicable to poetry:
"Every esthetic decision is in part the product of influence. We see gardens we have liked and others we have not; we have noted effects that please us and others that seemed contrived. All that history of looking and judging, of liking and resisting, is what we bring to the making of a garden. The precise blend of conscious decision and inchoate memory, or the rational with the deeply felt, amounts to our personal style. Everything is to be gained from knowing precisely why one likes this or that element of a garden, why one chooses this or that line or shape..."