Crow Mind

I had a great deal of pain all night, and a great looseness upon me so that I could not sleep. In the morning I rose with much pain and to the office. I went and dined at home, and after dinner with great pain in my back I went by water to Whitehall to the Privy Seal, and that done with Mr. Moore and Creed to Hide Park by coach, and saw a fine foot-race three times round the Park between an Irishman and Crow, that was once my Lord Claypoole’s footman. (By the way I cannot forget that my Lord Claypoole did the other day make enquiry of Mrs. Hunt, concerning my House in Axe-yard, and did set her on work to get it of me for him, which methinks is a very great change.) Crow beat the other by above two miles.
Returned from Hide Park, I went to my Lord’s, and took Will (who waited for me there) by coach and went home, taking my lute home with me. It had been all this while since I came from sea at my Lord’s for him to play on. To bed in some pain still.
For this month or two it is not imaginable how busy my head has been, so that I have neglected to write letters to my uncle Robert in answer to many of his, and to other friends, nor indeed have I done anything as to my own family, and especially this month my waiting at the Privy Seal makes me much more unable to think of anything, because of my constant attendance there after I have done at the Navy Office. But blessed be God for my good chance of the Privy Seal, where I get every day I believe about 3l.. This place I got by chance, and my Lord did give it me by chance, neither he nor I thinking it to be of the worth that he and I find it to be.
Never since I was a man in the world was I ever so great a stranger to public affairs as now I am, having not read a news-book or anything like it, or enquiring after any news, or what the Parliament do, or in any wise how things go. Many people look after my house in Axe-yard to hire it, so that I am troubled with them, and I have a mind to get the money to buy goods for my house at the Navy Office, and yet I am loth to put it off because that Mr. Man bids me 1000l. for my office, which is so great a sum that I am loth to settle myself at my new house, lest I should take Mr. Man’s offer in case I found my Lord willing to it.

All night, no sleep:
a race between man and crow.
Crow beat me
and went home to play.
How busy a dance
I find it to be!
A great stranger is my mind.
I am loath to settle in it.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 10 August 1660.

2 Comments


  1. I’m loving these erasure poems, Dave. Pepys is a great source to use! (Also fits with the UK ‘theme’ of your current/recent travels).

    Also, I’m reading Mary Reufle lately so the method of composing/de-structuring is food for thought and inspiration.

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Ann. Yes, the whole process is very interesting philosophically. Even with regular poetry writing, one often has the sense that words and phrases are edited down from a larger, pre-existent text.

      Reply

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