Careers

by Robert Graves
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!