Amy Lowell

I want to be a carpenter,
To work all day long in clean wood,
Shaving it into little thin slivers
Which screw up into curls behind my plane;
Pounding square, black nails into white boards,
With the claws of my hammer glistening
Like the tongue of a snake,
I want to shingle a house,
Sitting on the ridgepole, in a bright breeze,
Taking great care that each is directly between two others.
Spruce, cedar, cypress.
I want to draw a line on a board with a flat pencil,
And then saw along that line,
With the sweet-smelling sawdust piling up in a yellow heap
      at my feet.
That is the life!

It is much easier than to write this poem.

Amy Lowell was an American poet and posthumous recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.
Originally published:
January 1, 1917


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