Five haiku

(Lord’s day. Easter day). Up, and to Church; where Alderman Backewell’s wife, and mother, and boy, and another gentlewoman, did come, and sit in our pew; but no women of our own there, and so there was room enough. Our Parson made a dull sermon, and so home to dinner; and, after dinner, my wife and I out by coach, and Balty with us, to Loton, the landscape-drawer, a Dutchman, living in St. James’s Market, but there saw no good pictures. But by accident he did direct us to a painter that was then in the house with him, a Dutchman, newly come over, one Evarelst, who took us to his lodging close by, and did shew us a little flower-pot of his doing, the finest thing that ever, I think, I saw in my life; the drops of dew hanging on the leaves, so as I was forced, again and again, to put my finger to it, to feel whether my eyes were deceived or no. He do ask 70l. for it: I had the vanity to bid him 20l.; but a better picture I never saw in my whole life; and it is worth going twenty miles to see it. Thence, leaving Balty there, I took my wife to St. James’s, and there carried her to the Queen’s Chapel, the first time I ever did it; and heard excellent musick, but not so good as by accident I did hear there yesterday, as I went through the Park from White Hall to see Sir W. Coventry, which I have forgot to set down in my journal yesterday. And going out of the Chapel, I did see the Prince of Tuscany come out, a comely, black, fat man, in a mourning suit; and my wife and I did see him this afternoon through a window in this Chapel. All that Sir W. Coventry yesterday did tell me new was, that the King would not yet give him leave to come to kiss his hand; and he do believe that he will not in a great while do it, till those about him shall see fit, which I am sorry for.
Thence to the Park, my wife and I; and here Sir W. Coventry did first see me and my wife in a coach of our own; and so did also this night the Duke of York, who did eye my wife mightily. But I begin to doubt that my being so much seen in my own coach at this time, may be observed to my prejudice; but I must venture it now. So home, and by night home, and so to my office, and there set down my journal, with the help of my left eye through my tube, for fourteen days’ past; which is so much, as, I hope, I shall not run in arrear again, but the badness of my eyes do force me to it.
So home to supper and to bed.

moth in our room
a dull landscape with one
flower pot

*

the finest life
drops of dew hanging
on the leaves

*

a finger
to feel my eyes
going to see the queen

*

black man
in a mourning suit
afternoon chapel

*

a kiss in the park—
I begin to doubt
my own journal

For International Haiku Poetry Day, five erasures from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 11 April 1669.

Cozy

Up, and to the Committee of Tangier, where little done, and thence I home by my own coach, and busy after dinner at my office all the afternoon till late at night, that my eyes were tired. So home, and my wife shewed me many excellent prints of Nanteuil’s and others, which W. Batelier hath, at my desire, brought me out of France, of the King, and Colbert, and others, most excellent, to my great content. But he hath also brought a great many gloves perfumed, of several sorts; but all too big by half for her, and yet she will have two or three dozen of them, which vexed me, and made me angry. So she, at last, to please me, did come to take what alone I thought fit, which pleased me. So, after a little supper, to bed, my eyes being very bad.

little home
the eyeprints of love
all too big

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Monday 25 January 1669.

Chatterbox

Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon eat a mouthful, and so with my wife to Madam Turner’s, and find her gone, but The. staid for us; and so to the King’s house, to see “Horace;” this the third day of its acting — a silly tragedy; but Lacy hath made a farce of several dances — between each act, one: but his words are but silly, and invention not extraordinary, as to the dances; only some Dutchmen come out of the mouth and tail of a Hamburgh sow. Thence, not much pleased with the play, set them at home in the Strand; and my wife and I home, and there to do a little business at the Office, and so home to supper and to bed.

on a day of tragedy
words dance out
of the mouth

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 19 January 1669.

Up late

Up and to the office, where all the morning busy, and so home to dinner, where Goodgroome with us, and after dinner a song, and then to the office, where busy till night, and then home to work there with W. Hewer to get ready some Tangier papers against to-morrow, and so to supper and to bed.

a room with a song
night work
against tomorrow

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 14 January 1669.

Snow swan

Early came Mr. Vanly to me for his half-year’s rent, which I had not in the house, but took his man to the office and there paid him. Then I went down into the Hall and to Will’s, where Hawly brought a piece of his Cheshire cheese, and we were merry with it. Then into the Hall again, where I met with the Clerk and Quarter Master of my Lord’s troop, and took them to the Swan and gave them their morning’s draft, they being just come to town. Mr. Jenkins shewed me two bills of exchange for money to receive upon my Lord’s and my pay. It snowed hard all this morning, and was very cold, and my nose was much swelled with cold. Strange the difference of men’s talk! Some say that Lambert must of necessity yield up; others, that he is very strong, and that the Fifth-monarchy-men [will] stick to him, if he declares for a free Parliament. Chillington was sent yesterday to him with the vote of pardon and indemnity from the Parliament.
From the Hall I came home, where I found letters from Hinchingbroke and news of Mr. Sheply’s going thither the next week. I dined at home, and from thence went to Will’s to Shaw, who promised me to go along with me to Atkinson’s about some money, but I found him at cards with Spicer and D. Vines, and could not get him along with me. I was vext at this, and went and walked in the Hall, where I heard that the Parliament spent this day in fasting and prayer; and in the afternoon came letters from the North, that brought certain news that my Lord Lambert his forces were all forsaking him, and that he was left with only fifty horse, and that he did now declare for the Parliament himself; and that my Lord Fairfax did also rest satisfied, and had laid down his arms, and that what he had done was only to secure the country against my Lord Lambert his raising of money, and free quarter.
I went to Will’s again, where I found them still at cards, and Spicer had won 14s. of Shaw and Vines.
Then I spent a little time with G. Vines and Maylard at Vines’s at our viols.
So home, and from thence to Mr. Hunt’s, and sat with them and Mr. Hawly at cards till ten at night, and was much made of by them.
Home and so to bed, but much troubled with my nose, which was much swelled.

swan in the snow
nose as cold as news
from the north

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 4 January 1660.

Soliloquizing

(Lord’s day). Up, and with W. Hewer to the Office, where all the morning, and then home to a little dinner, and presently to it again all alone till twelve at night, drawing up my answer to Middleton, which I think I shall do to very good purpose — at least, I satisfy myself therein; and so to bed, weary with walking in my Office dictating to him [Hewer]. In the night my wife very ill, vomited, but was well again by and by.

all alone
I answer myself
walking in the night

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sunday 13 December 1668.

Snack

Up, and to the Office, where busy all the morning: Middleton not there, so no words or looks of him. At noon, home to dinner; and so to the Office, and there all the afternoon busy; and at night W. Hewer home with me; and we think we have got matter enough to make Middleton appear a coxcomb. But it troubled me to have Sir W. Warren meet me at night, going out of the Office home, and tell me that Middleton do intend to complain to the Duke of York: but, upon consideration of the business, I did go to bed, satisfied that it was best for me that he should; and so my trouble was over, and to bed, and slept well.

no words
on the noon bus
I have a pear

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Thursday 10 December 1668.

Night light

Up, and to the office all the morning, and then home to dinner, having this day a new girl come to us in the room of Nell, who is lately, about four days since, gone away, being grown lazy and proud. This girl to stay only till we have a boy, which I intend to keep when I have a coach, which I am now about. At this time my wife and I mighty busy laying out money in dressing up our best chamber, and thinking of a coach and coachman and horses, &c.; and the more because of Creed’s being now married to Mrs. Pickering; a thing I could never have expected, but it is done about seven or ten days since, as I hear out of the country. At noon home to dinner, and my wife and Harman and girl abroad to buy things, and I walked out to several places to pay debts, and among other things to look out for a coach, and saw many; and did light on one for which I bid 50l., which do please me mightily, and I believe I shall have it. So to my tailor’s, and the New Exchange, and so by coach home, and there, having this day bought “The Queene of Arragon” play, I did get my wife and W. Batelier to read it over this night by 11 o’clock, and so to bed.

a new room
grown in the light
of my clock

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 20 October 1668.

Displacement

At it again in the morning, and then to the Office, where till noon, and I do see great whispering among my brethren about their replies to the Duke of York, which vexed me, though I know no reason for it; for I have no manner of ground to fear them. At noon home to dinner, and, after dinner, to work all the afternoon again. At home late, and so to bed.

office
whispering their lies to the ground
after work

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 12 September 1668

Canal walk

Busy all the morning at the office. So home to dinner, where Mercer, and there comes Mr. Swan, my old acquaintance, and dines with me, and tells me, for a certainty, that Creed is to marry Betty Pickering, and that the thing is concluded, which I wonder at, and am vexed for. So he gone I with my wife and two girls to the King’s house, and saw “The Mad Couple,” a mean play altogether, and thence to Hyde Parke, where but few coaches, and so to the New Exchange, and thence by water home, with much pleasure, and then to sing in the garden, and so home to bed, my eyes for these four days being my trouble, and my heart thereby mighty sad.

morning swan
my old acquaintance
vexed at me

Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 29 July 1668