Thursday, May 26, 2011


When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go,
and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy
and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money
for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement
when I’m 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 pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and
beermats 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.

~Jenny Joseph~


  1. I love this poem, it is a favorite of mine.

  2. Ahhhh ... this is from one of my all-time favorite books!

  3. First time I am seeing this but its a good one!