Monday, 14 December 2009

Warning!!!!! A poem by Jenny Joseph

I was reminded today of a poem I like, so I thought I would share it with you as it is a long time since I posted any poetry and I thought you might enjoy it.

Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

I'd like to add that not only am I going to wear purple (actually I'm wearing purple now) but I'm going to rent a cottage by the sea, get loads of cats and wonder round the town mumbling under my breath about the price of bacon and how things weren't like this in my day.

This poem is Internationally known and a whole society has sprung up around this little poem, called the Red Hat Society, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this here's a link for you HERE


  1. I have a friend, Lia, who has a purple streak in the front of her hair, and she LOVES this poem and, I think that we all act on it too !!!!
    Let us all enjoy getting older. XXXX

  2. The Red Hat Society is big here in the states too. I'm all for worrying less and doing more as we grow older.

  3. Yea, you have to let your hair down every once and a while, it's what keeps you young!

  4. I think women love this poem so much, 'cos it's about being naughty and celebrating the naughtiness.
    My lot know this poem by heart as I have quoted it at them so many times, so they know what to expect from me in my old age.
    Mind you I have kept a few things to my self, namely that I intend to wear a tutu and glitter wellies to Christmas dinners.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin