Ministry of Truth

(Lord’s day). Lay long in bed, and then rose and with a fire in my chamber staid within all day, looking over and settling my accounts in good order, by examining all my books, and the kitchen books, and I find that though the proper profit of my last year was but 305l., yet I did by other gain make it up 444l., which in every part of it was unforeseen of me, and therefore it was a strange oversight for lack of examining my expenses that I should spend 690l. this year, but for the time to come I have so distinctly settled all my accounts in writing and the particulars of all my several layings out, that I do hope I shall hereafter make a better judgment of my spendings than ever. I dined with my wife in her chamber, she in bed, and then down again and till 11 at night, and broke up and to bed with great content, but could not make an end of writing over my vows as I purposed, but I am agreed in every thing how to order myself for the year to come, which I trust in God will be much for my good. So up to prayers and to bed.
This evening Sir W. Pen came to invite me against next Wednesday, being Twelfth day, to his usual feast, his wedding day.

a fire looking
in all the books

re-writing the endings to make
an end of writing

how to order myself
for the year to come

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 3 January 1663/64.

5 Replies to “Ministry of Truth”

  1. Trying to make my poetry practice more regular again, I found myself here looking for inspiration and found it in your poem that I haven’t been able to get out of my head the past few days. I hope you don’t mind…


    there’s a snowfield in my dreams
    where tracks weave off toward winter
    bare trees

    I imagine leaves
    buried in distant snow

    I wish I had them
    I’d use them like someone
    else’s words

    arrange them so I’d know
    what I was thinking

    a fire searching through books
    for water

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