His verse was omnivorous, one could say, ranging tonally from the church fathers to forthright Willy Sutton, the habitual bank robber. It came in chunky stanzas, buoyed up by his delight in the English language, and its American cousin. Peter wrote verse about kitchen herbs and airlines, Assyria and Scrooge McDuck, Jimmy Durante and Montaigne, even the remembered air force bullring of his youth. Latterly, the birds and bush of seaside Anglesea made their appearance more often, as in these rejoicing lines:
On the eggshell rink above us all they are wheeling
in Lincoln green or burred gold,
hanging from wings that hang from nothing, and stealing
the apple of grace from air’s hold.
This beautiful farewell from Chris Wallace-Crabbe at Meanjin is one of several fine things written about Australian poet and academic Peter Steele over the last month, since his death.
Read it all, it is splendid. Here also is Brendan Byrne's eulogy, at Eureka Street, and a piece from Morag Fraser.