Peter Steele's Musings 'in the Spirit of the [Spiritual] Exercises'

Collette Rayment

Abstract


In the 1970's Peter Steele S.J. wrote many privately distributed Reflections and Retreat Notes, the result of his 'musing upon a number of poems as someone accustomed to muse in the spirit of the Exercises'1 and likening the practice of Ignatius' Exercises to the processes of writing and interpreting poetry. These can now be seen as the fruit of his labours to integrate his religious and secular activities. The concern of this paper is not to examine Steele's own writings on the Exercises with regard to poetry, illuminating as they are; but to ask how the Exercises provide him with important criteria for the interpretation and criticism of poetry.

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