The article looks at the representation of ideals of the poet-priest in the works of Thomas Merton. It provides an analysis of Merton's poetics of critique. For Merton, John the Baptist represents the model anchorite as well as the first Cisterician and the greatest Trappist. The indivisible and comprehensive dimensions of Merton as a whole man are represented by John the Baptist, John of the Cross and John the Beloved. The two types of Merton's poetics of critique are ecclesial/monastic and societal.
Higgins, Michael W., "The Priestly Imagination: Thomas Merton and the Poetics of Critique" (2009). Office of Mission Integration, Ministry & Multi-Cultural Affairs. 2.