E.B. White

I Paint What I See

by E.B. White

First Published: Printed in the New Yorker, 20 May 1933
Transcription/Markup: Sally Ryan.


It's no good taste in a man like me,
    Said John D's grandson, Nelson.
To question an artist's integrity
Or mention a practical thing like a fee,
But I know what I like to a large degree,
    Tho art I hate to hamper,
For twenty-one thousand conservative bucks
You painted a radical. I say, shucks,
    I never could rent the offices--
    The capitalist offices.
For this, as you know, is a public hall
And people want doves, or a tree in fall,
And tho your art I dislike to hamper,
I owe a little to God and Gramper,

    And after all,
    It's my wall.....
We'll see if it is, said Rivera.