Pepys Diary erasure project

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

War is a roar, a Vive le Roi
from one to another possessed servant
with the king’s lips.
The speakers suffer nothing more
than to be loyal, dutiful, faithful
and obedient ninepins.
No place to belong to,
every man is clerk of the signet.
Minister and army tell me
that pain is a present.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 May 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

The land troubles me,
and I am against the sea.
I cry out at the sight of a ship,
and hear bullets go hissing overhead
in a transport of joy.
I perceive unknown letters
in familiar words.
Strange things please me.
I put great confidence in the thoughts
of a thick-skulled fool.
Ordinary business must be
not served but feared.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 3 May 1660.