Trees

This day I put on first my new silk suit, the first that ever I wore in my life. This morning came Nan Pepys’ husband Mr. Hall to see me being lately come to town. I had never seen him before. I took him to the Swan tavern with Mr. Eglin and there drank our morning draft. Home, and called my wife, and took her to Dr. Clodius’s to a great wedding of Nan Hartlib to Mynheer Roder, which was kept at Goring House with very great state, cost, and noble company. But, among all the beauties there, my wife was thought the greatest. After dinner I left the company, and carried my wife to Mrs. Turner’s. I went to the Attorney-General’s, and had my bill which cost me seven pieces. I called my wife, and set her home. And finding my Lord in White Hall garden, I got him to go to the Secretary’s, which he did, and desired the dispatch of his and my bills to be signed by the King.
His bill is to be Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Hinchingbroke, and Baron of St. Neot’s.
Home, with my mind pretty quiet: not returning, as I said I would, to see the bride put to bed.

The fir is never seen in draft
but among the greatest company.
I turn to her
and find in a garden
the desire to be quiet as a bride.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 10 July 1660.

All the morning at Sir G. Palmer’s advising about getting my bill drawn. From thence to the Navy office, where in the afternoon we met and sat, and there I begun to sign bills in the Office the first time. From thence Captain Holland and Mr. Browne of Harwich took me to a tavern and did give me a collation. From thence to the Temple to further my bills being done, and so home to my Lord, and thence to bed.

The palm is
a navy of
the afternoon,
a sign from Holland,
a temple
to a hen.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 July 1660.

eternal insomnia

Just down the road from where I’m staying in north London, the Kensal Green Cemetery houses the mortal remains of many eminent Victorians. Like Highgate Cemetery, which I visited in 2011, it’s one of the “magnificent seven” garden-style cemeteries in London. And just as at Highgate, the groundskeepers’ gardening style is permissive in the extreme, favoring unpruned trees and shrubs and rampant ivy. (more…)