Trades

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John Everett Millais – Christ in the House of His Parents (`The Carpenter’s Shop’)

Trades

I want to be a carpenter, 

I want to work all day long in clean wood,

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Shaving it into little slivers

Which screw up into curls behind my plane;

Pounding square, black nails into white boards,

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With the claws of my hammer glistening 

Like the toungue of a snake.

I want to shingle a house, 

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sitting on the ridge-pole in a bright breeze.

I want to put the shingles on neatly,

Taking great care that each is directly between two others.

I want my hands to have the tang of wood: 

Spruce, Cedar, Cypress.

[I might add sassafras to the list]

I want to draw a line on a board with a flat pencil, 

And then saw along that line,

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With the sweet-smelling sawdust piling up in a yellow heap at my feet.

That is the life!

heigh-ho!

it is much easier than to write this poem.

 

-Amy Lowell

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A distant relative to me.
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