Friedrich von Schlegel on Romantic Poetry

Romantic poetry is a progressive, universal poetry . . . It tries to mix and fuse poetry and prose, inspiration and criticism . . . Other kinds of poetry are finished and are now capable of being fully analyzed. The romantic kind of poetry is still in the state of becoming; that, in fact, is its real essence . . . It can be exhausted by no theory . . . It alone is infinite, just as it alone is free; and it recognizes as its first commandment that the will of the poet can tolerate no law above itself. The romantic kind of poetry is . . . poetry itself. (Athenaeum Fragment 116, in Schlegel, 31–32)