Jole of Ling

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

[In the morning I drank at the Sun,
at the Swan in Fish Street,
at our Goal Feast,
at our Jole of Ling,
and after a good cup of ale I shot a scholar.
I drank at the burial of a young bookseller,
drank to his going.]

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 20 January 1659/60.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. seems to me that erasure poetry would make a great small group activity…everybody starts with the same material. Maybe alcoholic beverages could be involved.


    1. Yes! I’ve generated at least two different erasures for almost every page of Pepys’ diary so far myself.


  2. What is a ‘jole of Ling’? Having the same problem with Pepys.


    1. According to the annotations for that entry, it’s the head (“jowl”) of a type of codfish, the common ling. I just liked the sound of the phrase!


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