Sunday, 19 August 2012

Purple warning

                        Is 60 too young to start?

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


  1. Great! And no, it's never too early to start.

  2. All those scarecrows are really great and funny!And no, it's never too late for anything!

  3. My wife has already started the "purple phase" in preparation.

  4. Oh no Jenny, I wore a purple dress today and yesterday I went out in the rain with my slippers would seem I have already started, how about I meet you at the crossroads haha!

  5. Love this poem. Only problem is, I started wearing purple a good few years ago because it is one of those colors that looks good with my coloring. But down here in S. California, it almost goes without saying that if you're wearing purple you're retired. This is a favorite retirement area, so lots of purple.

  6. Jennyfreckles, you can wear purple because it will look good with your coloring, but do NOT wear it because you think you are an old woman. You have a good fifteen years before you can start wearing a red hat and going batty.

  7. I love the idea behind the poem and I have done some of those mad things but I don't wear purple, although I bought a pair of posh Nikes with purple laces, maybe that counts.

  8. I've known this poem for what feels like eternity. I wonder what it is about purple and age. In China too, many many older women wear shades of purple. It's fun to see them all in a public space together. I can't wear purple; it looks hideous on me, but I sure like the colour. I say it's never too early for anything. Or too late, for that matter. Your scarecrow series is delightful. Hope this finds you well, Jenny. I've not had time for much blogging lately, but miss it.

  9. Do you have Red Hat Societies in Britain? We often see groups of women with their purple clothing and red hats at festivals and museums. They seem to be having more fun than a bunch of Shriners.


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