I read a number of poems by Robert Burns and fell in love, not only with the mind-warpingly beautiful lines in those poems, but with him - his life and his voice and his spirit travelling through time. The accent in Burns's poems is the one I grew up with and heard every day, but to see it used like that, for literature, shook me very much, and made me realise that writing was a kind of morality. I copied his poems out on my typewriter - it was a way of improving my typing and entering very directly into the rhythm of those works, copying them out beat for beat.
I think it was Robert Burns who made me believe that the proper study of man is man, that nothing was beneath good writing, and that a committed writer owed everything to the page and nothing to piety or conformity or the ego or the fashion. He pricked delusion, and that is a good thing for a young man filled with delusions to see.
(Thanks to Light Reading for the link.)