Robert Graves: Careers


Father is quite the greatest poet   That ever lived anywhere. You say you're going to write great music—   I chose that first: it's unfair. Besides, now I can't be the greatest painter and     do Christ and angels, or lovely pears     and apples and grapes on a green dish,     or storms at sea, or anything lovely, Because that's been taken by Claire.
It's stupid to be an engine-driver,   And soldiers are horrible men. I won't be a tailor, I won't be a sailor,   And gardener's taken by Ben. It's unfair if you say that you'll write great     music, you horrid, you unkind (I simply     loathe you, though you are my     sister), you beast, cad, coward, cheat,     bully, liar! Well? Say what's left for me then! But we won't go to your ugly music.   (Listen!) Ben will garden and dig, And Claire will finish her wondrous pictures   All flaming and splendid and big.
And I'll be a perfectly marvellous carpenter,     and I'll make cupboards and benches     and tables and ... and baths, and     nice wooden boxes for studs and     money, And you'll be jealous, you pig!