Pepys Diary erasure project

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

A quaint command:
think of kindness, thank for kindness.
After supper, good music and bed.
Strew the streets with herbs for joy of going.
Never pray for happiness as long as the sun
and moon endure.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 5 May 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

War is a roar, a Vive le Roi
from one to another possessed servant
with the king’s lips.
The speakers suffer nothing more
than to be loyal, dutiful, faithful
and obedient ninepins.
No place to belong to,
every man is clerk of the signet.
Minister and army tell me
that pain is a present.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 4 May 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

The land troubles me,
and I am against the sea.
I cry out at the sight of a ship,
and hear bullets go hissing overhead
in a transport of joy.
I perceive unknown letters
in familiar words.
Strange things please me.
I put great confidence in the thoughts
of a thick-skulled fool.
Ordinary business must be
not served but feared.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 3 May 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

A breakfast of radishes:
the happiest act of oblivion
in the Church of No.
I disclaim any other government but fire
and in the body, joy.
No money or credit, I spend time, play music.
I came to bring this news
and a bottle of wine.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 2 May 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

People
have
set up
maypoles;
I resolve
to hide.
I count
myself
a perfect
stone of
heaven,
a park
without
a gate,
a pistol
for pins.
In my
cabin
writing,
I hear
a great
rose
drown
in the
streets.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 1 May 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

I put on first my
fine cloth cloak,
put on a pack
locked till Tuesday
that I may read
in the open,
keep a fast and
keep from sitting
as if in chains.
I walked
a great while
upon the deck.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 29 April 1660.

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

I put a hat on
for the flock.
They go so high
that others fall,
so high that they
deceive, and I am
so low that I am not
able to escape,
my troubled hopes
made even with
my money.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Friday 27 April 1660.