Up by four o’clock and took coach. Mr. Creed rode, and left us that we know not whither he went. We went on, thinking to be at home before the officers rose, but finding we could not we staid by the way and eat some cakes, and so home.
Where I was much troubled to see no more work done in my absence than there was, but it could not be helped.
I sent my wife to my father’s, and I went and sat till late with my Lady Batten, both the Sir Williams being gone this day to pay off some ships at Deptford.
So home and to bed without seeing of them.
I hear to-night that the Duke of York’s son is this day dead, which I believe will please every body; and I hear that the Duke and his Lady themselves are not much troubled at it.
No thinking or cake,
trouble or work
in my absence.
No father or son.
A dead body, I hear,
is not much.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 6 May 1661.
(Lord’s day). Mr. Creed and I went to the red-faced Parson’s church, and heard a good sermon of him, better than I looked for. Then home, and had a good dinner, and after dinner fell in some talk in Divinity with Mr. Stevens that kept us till it was past Church time.
Anon we walked into the garden, and there played the fool a great while, trying who of Mr. Creed or I could go best over the edge of an old fountain wall, and I won a quart of sack of him.
Then to supper in the banquet house, and there my wife and I did talk high, she against and I for Mrs. Pierce (that she was a beauty), till we were both angry.
Then to walk in the fields, and so to our quarters, and to bed.
A red-faced divinity, the fool
who won a quart of sack.
He and I talk beauty
till we’re both angry,
then walk in the fields.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 5 May 1661.
The beech tree has seven eyes
where limbs used to be,
each of them gazing upward.
Down below, the scars
of old, knife-cut graffiti:
Smoke Up. Fly High. Manson Lives.
A warbler in the crown
of a neighboring oak,
its shadow crossing my face.
Up in the morning and took coach, and so to Gilford, where we lay at the Red Lyon, the best Inn, and lay in the room the King lately lay in, where we had time to see the Hospital, built by Archbishop Abbott, and the free school, and were civilly treated by the Mayster.
So to supper, and to bed, being very merry about our discourse with the Drawers concerning the minister of the Town, with a red face and a girdle. So to bed, where we lay and sleep well.
I lay at the Red Lion,
lay in the room
I lately lay in, ill
and to bed with
a red face, I lay well.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 4 May 1661.
The first surveyor—1795—
labeled this mountain Violet Hill.
Did he study it in the blue distance,
or see right at his feet
the crowds of violets fluttering
under the attention of the rain?
A warbler just back from the tropics
sings quietly, as if trying to locate
all the notes.
Early to walk with Mr. Creed up and down the town, and it was in his and some others’ thoughts to have got me made free of the town, but the Mayor, it seems, unwilling, and so they could not do it.
Then to the payhouse, and there paid off the ship, and so to a short dinner, and then took coach, leaving Mrs. Hater there to stay with her husband’s friends, and we to Petersfield, having nothing more of trouble in all my journey, but the exceeding unmannerly and most epicure-like palate of Mr. Creed.
Here my wife and I lay in the room the Queen lately lay at her going into France.
Early to walk
up and down the ship—
here with nothing but the most
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 3 May 1661.
Up, and Mr. Creed and I to walk round the town upon the walls. Then to our inn, and there all the officers of the Yard to see me with great respect, and I walked with them to the Dock and saw all the stores, and much pleased with the sight of the place.
Back and brought them all to dinner with me, and treated them handsomely; and so after dinner by water to the Yard, and there we made the sale of the old provisions. Then we and our wives all to see the Montagu, which is a fine ship, and so to the town again by water, and then to see the room where the Duke of Buckingham was killed by Felton.
So to our lodging, and to supper and to bed.
To-night came Mr. Stevens to town to help us to pay off the Fox.
The walls leased
the sight of the place—
a handsome provision.
To see is to kill.
Night came to town
to help the fox.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 2 May 1661.
That gobbling on the ridge:
turkey, or turkey hunter?
That whistle: factory or train?
I follow a vole’s progress
by watching where the grass trembles—
until a breeze springs up.
How the weasel must hate the wind!
And how it must strive to sound
exactly like it.
Up early, and bated at Petersfield, in the room which the King lay in lately at his being there.
Here very merry, and played us and our wives at bowls. Then we set forth again, and so to Portsmouth, seeming to me to be a very pleasant and strong place; and we lay at the Red Lyon, where Haselrigge and Scott and Walton did hold their councill, when they were here, against Lambert and the Committee of Safety.
Several officers of the Yard came to see us to-night, and merry we were, but troubled to have no better lodgings.
A field in which
the king ate an owl—
no better lodging.
Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 1 May 1661.
A haze of jewelweed sprouts,
the dimpled embryonic leaves
like conjoined twins.
From the valley, the sound
of horses pulling a buggy
in their eight steel shoes.
The crooked sassafras—
something has found under its bark
a blood-colored door.