Paradoxen

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

I had in my cabin
that dun cow, paradox:
that the sea was good at ninepins.
That we hear for our instruments—
locks singing to the blacksmith.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 23 April 1660.

Oysters

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

A boy is going to the king.
I enter his name in my book.

How many churches have
a barrel of pickled oysters?

Open the barber’s hands with
his own hands: a close business.

This letter is like a house—
a very well writ one.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 April 1660.

Imposter

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.