erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

I ate the key to keep
the morning private,

took the Pope’s head and his silver hatband
to do him a courtesy.

I pray God to receive my ham.
I lay all night with my marrow bone.

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 22 March 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. I love ‘I ate the key to keep the morning private’!


    1. Thanks! I liked that too, and was a bit annoyed with Mr. Pepys for not giving me the words to expand that thought in the direction I wanted. This erasure business is a continuing exercise in humility.


  2. Like this one very much! I came across your blog on Diane Lockward’s blog list. I will keep visiting. The title of the blog drew me in.


    1. Hi Anne — thanks for visiting. I’m glad to hear that “Via Negativa” drew you in. I think it scares a lot of people off, too!


  3. I too was really pleased to stumble upon this blog and your reinvention of Samuel Pepys words


  4. where is my marrow bone?


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