War dance

Early in the morning to Whitehall, but my Lord Privy Seal came not all the morning. At noon Mr. Moore and I to the Wardrobe to dinner, where my Lady and all merry and well. Back again to the Privy Seal; but my Lord comes not all the afternoon, which made me mad and gives all the world reason to talk of his delaying of business, as well as of his severity and ill using of the Clerks of the Privy Seal. In the evening I took Mons. Eschar and Mr. Moore and Dr. Pierce’s brother (the souldier) to the tavern next the Savoy, and there staid and drank with them. Here I met with Mr. Mage, and discoursing of musique Mons. Eschar spoke so much against the English and in praise of the French that made him mad, and so he went away. After a stay with them a little longer we parted and I home.

War gives the world an ill music
in praise of the mad.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 8 August 1661.

1 Comment


  1. Great. True and sad, but a fine poem. Might I recommend this week’s RadioLab on NPR? As with your poem, it is a small matter in terms of words, only 60, that authorized the continuing and seemingly open-ended war we are fighting, already the longest one in the history of this country. Weirdly, the enemies can’t be publicly named because of national security. It even starts with some ill music, The Battle Hymn of the Republic closing the public ceremony after 9-11.

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