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Editor's Selection of Poems
Careers

by Robert Graves

Father is quite the greatest poet   
    That ever lived anywhere.   
You say youíre going to write great musicó   
    I chose that first: itís unfair.   
Besides, now I canít 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 thatís been taken by Claire.   
   
Itís stupid to be an engine-driver,
    And soldiers are horrible men.   
I wonít be a tailor, I wonít be a sailor,   
    And gardenerís taken by Ben.   
Itís unfair if you say that youíll write great   
        music, you horrid, you unkind (I sim- 
        ply loathe you, though you are my   
        sister), you beast, cad, coward, cheat,   
        bully, liar!   
Well? Say whatís left for me then!   
   
But we wonít 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 Iíll be a perfectly marvellous carpenter,   
        and Iíll make cupboards and benches
        and tables and ... and baths, and   
        nice wooden boxes for studs and   
        money,   
And youíll be jealous, you pig! 
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