Jenny Joseph

(1932 / Birmingham)

Warning

Poem by Jenny Joseph

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.


Comments about Warning by Jenny Joseph

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    1 person liked.
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  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (5/29/2020 12:33:00 PM)

    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. thinking of the time when one becomes old and coping with it. tony(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • rocky love (5/29/2020 9:36:00 AM)

    love it charming, never too late(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (5/29/2020 7:25:00 AM)

    time
    is important part of life....growing up and
    becoming old with some abnormal feelings
    is unhygienic nature of natural nerves system
    ....it's a great poem on the growing old feelings
    ....thanks for sharing....(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Uche Al (5/29/2020 5:15:00 AM)

    The only thing I can say is: Oh My God This poem is amazing(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (5/29/2020 1:10:00 AM)

    Congratulations Mrs. Joseph! The Modern Poem Of The Day! Today Friday the 29th May 2020.
    I have read bthis humorous poem, excellently worded. Thank you for sharing.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Alison Mujati (5/13/2020 11:51:00 PM)

    Well written, it’ s always good to refer to classics(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sanjeev Nanda (4/3/2020 5:21:00 AM)

    Such a wonderful poem, brought the widest of smiles to my face! to be fair, I'm a 20-something, and do all these things right now haha. Keeping myself ahead of the curve you see.
    ~Sanjeev Nanda(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (4/2/2020 2:07:00 AM)

    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. very nice poem.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (2/29/2020 11:03:00 PM)

    the Old
    the great old
    there is hidden the youthful strength
    at old
    there is no surprising if wear the purple..../// great(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (2/29/2020 7:04:00 AM)

    2) I do HOPE that you will read this response of me, then you surely know that you are the most amazing amongst the poets here, especially with your daily phrases but derived from the Royals. In ancient days Royals used to have easy vocabulaire, but they used them with so much élan, that it looked really of a high standard vocabulary. Please, do not forget the sausages, thank yiou so much for sharing this TOP entertainment, LadyJen(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (2/29/2020 6:52:00 AM)

    1) satirically ironic, witty, full of humor and also hilarious,
    so much fantasy, so many puns,
    and moreover with such a spontaneous word pumps, all words flow atogether smoothly. A poet to my heart, with an enormous of talent for metaphors in her poetic baggage. Very funny, but also whimsical, I reckon. CONGRATULATIONS for the MODERN POTD. There's no voting ball here.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (2/29/2020 4:22:00 AM)

    Purple for old age! !
    A sign of peaceful living.


    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    Margaret(3/2/2020 7:03:00 PM)

    A lovely poem.....about a woman finally deciding to rebel, and express herself a little, after a lifetime of conformity! !

    Denis MairDenis Mair(2/29/2020 8:38:00 AM)

    Purple is not just a sign of peaceful living. For this special woman it is a sign of self-conferred royalty. She is the queen of her own world.

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Shaun CronickShaun Cronick (2/29/2020 3:03:00 AM)

    This is a wonderful, magical poem that can raise a smile or two.
    So well written and with great and gentle, warmly welcoming imagery.
    Excellent in every way.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita TyagiSavita Tyagi (2/25/2020 9:58:00 AM)

    I think this poem is coming true to me. Such a relaxing time to be old. Why do we have only two poem from this brilliant writer. Any way I am happy to read it again.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • jomoooma (1/7/2020 12:38:00 PM)

    Great poeeeem it was very interesting due to subversion is sterytypes(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Ohemaa (12/8/2019 5:07:00 PM)

    I’ve already fallen in love with this poem.....this is why i don’t want to grow old(Report)Reply

    10 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Janet (11/16/2019 5:57:00 PM)

    I just bought purple glasses, they look great and my friends can't believe it! I'm 75 what do I care!(Report)Reply

    15 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Anonymous (10/18/2019 9:29:00 AM)

    I'm there! However people just think I'm being anti social, and vere themselves away! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! especially when I practice my new spitting technices(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 251 comments »

Warning Score Card

User Rating:
4,2 / 5 (587 votes)243



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Read poems about / on: purple, money, people, warning, woman, summer, children, rain, red, shopping, child, women, running, flower, friend



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Monday, July 30, 2007