Pepys Diary erasure project

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

I command a pleasant plain,
as plain as night:
an open mind, clear
thoughts and happy.
No service in keeping
quiet, I talk
to bring a fresh sense
of the pleasure of life.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 17 April 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

The barber put my clothes on
and they look upon him as a cook.
All ate a great deal of nothing.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 15 April 1660.

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Update: A reader (who may wish to remain anonymous; she can out herself in the comments if she wants to) emailed me with an alternate erasure of today’s Pepys. I wish I’d written this myself!

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

Up, and trimmed below,
He pleased himself
Openly at table
And at night
Privately in the room.
One witnessed the proceedings —
Tower held high — but all will
Come to nothing.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

A man, a man, a man
came from London, from London, from London
to the arms of a captain, a captain, a captain…
and it comes now into my mind to observe that I have been a little too free to make mirth, he being a very sober and an upright man.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 11 April 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

Having sailed all night,
we come in sight
of a fresh gale
and a good deal.

Great was the shout of guns,
the rattling of guns.
Smoke came,
the captains came.

I wrote to my wife,
drank wine to my wife.
It was in the morning.
We parted this evening.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 9 April 1660.