Public Relations

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

A letter from the general:
my duty is to kill; my power, to write;
my mission, to proclaim with great praise.
Under the story of the king is the king.
He calls me a very knowing man.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 9 May 1660.

Ratted Out

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

After dinner come several lush lutes.
While we were at play, my wife went to hunt,
and brought her bow here

to the hole of a fleet rat
at the bottom of a bed.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 8 May 1660.

Of Ships and Bottles

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

A bottle in a ship in a boat:
what arms and flags?
Silk clothes, a rich
noise of fiddlers.
What will be the entertainment?
Jurates of the town
and the vice-admiral.
Where to drink?
In the lost ship,
in bed in my cabin,
where I gave the bottle
a merry good night.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 7 May 1660.

Dreaming in Church

erasure of a page from Samuel Pepys' diary

At sermon, I doze.
I remember a large man of small mien
who told me my convulsions gave
great contentment to the Lord.
I look over my accounts
and find a sea in my purse.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 6 May 1660.

How to Live

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.

Warp

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.

On the Contrary

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.

The Radish Gospel

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.

Maypole

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.