Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Warning

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 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

I first read this poem when I was a young wife. I thought it was amusing because I also have always tried to be responsible and proper. However, also being a bit feisty, I fancied that I might be like that, eventually. This may be my very favourite poem. 

Now, many years later, “eventually” is fast approaching. I continue to be very responsible, though. I have always given life all of myself, at any given time. I still have some of myself in reserve, though, for my golden years. It is waiting in my closet with purple outfits and a red hat that doesn’t really suit me. And, I think it is time to start practicing, now. 

Please read my Challenge Reveal Post for insight on the poetry that I chose to share here. 


23 comments:

  1. I LOVE this poem and it's exactly how I would like to be when I am older!

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    1. I am glad you like it, too! I am planning for it. *wink*

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  2. Aw, the desire to let loose when we are old. I'm getting there - love this inspiration poem. @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

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    1. I am getting there, too. I think, perhaps, that we earn this.

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  3. My daughters told me they would disown me if I joined the Red Hats.

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  4. I love this poem and decided not to wait, as others might or must, to plant a peacock in my yard, and feed the duck who strangely comes, to be me, to help the cats and cut my own hair, so I can buy more cat food, and make shoes of purple duct tape.

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    1. Strayer, you have written a poem here. Thank you for this heartfelt piece of yourself. I am honoured. (Hug)

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    2. Thanks McGuffy! The drake is out there now, waiting on the sidewalk. I think he and his hen who comes in the evening, became separated. I don't speak duck, so how do I tell him, Come back at 7:00.

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    3. I emailed you! They will wait or come back. You speak love, and animals know that!

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    4. What an awesome comment. She does speak love. :) Gorgeous poem, too! I tried to act responsibly while wearing Marilyn Manson shirts to my last job and ended up being sort of a company mascot. ~grin~ Be well, ladies.
      Awakening Dreams and Conquering Nightmares with a Pen
      My Internet access is good right now, so I’m so glad I got to visit. Best wishes!

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  5. I have loved this from first time I read it because it is so me! :-) While at times in my life I have tried very hard to be "proper" and do everything "correctly", I've since figured out that one-size pattern doesn't really fit all, and I am much happier just being me. I love purple and clothes that are comfortable and I don't always behave properly, and I am glad that gives others reasons to smile (or shake their heads as the case may be)! :-)

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    1. Josie, perhaps you need to write a poem about You. I know you have always marched to your own tune.

      Of course, I am sure many feel this the way this poem describes, which is why I share it here. I know this poem fits me (and Bill) perfectly.

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  6. a standing ocvation to you Jenny Joseph !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!♥♥♥

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  7. A standing OVATION to you Jenny Joseph......this poem rocks !!!!!!!....and I was in such a hurry to say so, I misspelled and only saw it as it was cyber spacing to Annie { I know she wont "post" that comment ;)♥♥♥

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  8. I have heard this one before and I like it, but I say why wait until we are old? Wear what you want when you want now. XO

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  9. I too love this poem. Yes its feisty and full of promise that we shall get old and have the chance to kick up our heels. There is a red hat society in Australia (and around the world) They wear purple dresses and red hats when they meet up - full of older ladies having a good time (maybe me too... I'm not sure) I've always been pretty responsible too, doing the right thing by my family and society but with just a hint of that purple shining through. Now my kids have gone and I am taking time to do some me things

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  10. The poem sums up how fun life should be as we get older. Go get your red hat out!

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  11. Nice, and I especially like your last paragraph. :-)

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  12. Annie, this is absolutely one of my very favorite poems. I am wearing purple right now. At one time I thought of joining the Red Hat Society but decided that a woman who embraces the sentiments in this poem wouldn't do that. She is just too free spirited. I have not been able to let go of societal expectations enough (just like the author) to totally become that free spirit as yet. Thanks for sharing. Love and hugs, Janet

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  13. I see the ladies having coffee wearing their purple dresses and red hats. I can't wait to join them.

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