The Kiss

This day my Lord took physic, and came not out of his chamber.
All the morning making orders. After dinner a great while below in the great cabin trying with W. Howe some of Mr. Laws’ songs, particularly that of “What is a kiss,” with which we had a great deal of pleasure.
After that to making of orders again. Captain Sparling of the Assistance brought me a pair of silk stockings of a light blue, which I was much pleased with.
The Captain and I to supper, and after that a most pleasant walk till 10 at night with him upon the deck, it being a fine evening.
My pain was gone again that I had yesterday, blessed be God.
This day the month ends, I in very good health, and all the world in a merry mood because of the King’s coming.
This day I began to teach Mr. Edward; who I find to have a very good foundation laid for his Latin by Mr. Fuller. I expect every minute to hear how my poor wife do.
I find myself in all things well as to body and mind, but troubled for the absence of my wife.

What is a kiss?
A pair of silk stockings.
A light blue supper.
A pleasant walk.
A fine pain.
The king’s coming.
A good foundation for Latin.
The absence of I.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 31 May 1660 (with inspiration from the poem by Robert Herrick).

2 Replies to “The Kiss”

  1. Exceptionally fine, Dave. I didn’t know the Robert Herrick well enough that I would have felt it here without being told. But as soon as I started reading this I was aware of how layered and resonant it was. The pleasures of this project just get more and more (and then there are the odd days when I think: huh? and wonder if your energy for this is running out – which is somehow also part of the pleasure.

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