Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "Warning" by Jenny Joseph



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

40 comments:

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

One of my favorites. Thanks for sharing! Happy Tuesday ☺

blueviolet said...

I love it! When the purple days are before us, we shall revel in them though!

Joan said...

It has been too long since I have read this poem. I adore it. Thank you so much for bringing it back to me.

Leah J. Utas said...

Wonderful, Absolutely wonderful. I've been practicing for years.

Old Kitty said...

I have the little illustrated book of this wonderful fabulous poem - it's my ultimate goal when I hit that certain age - to be and wear and look purple!! Yay!! Take care
x

Siv Maria said...

Nice, but hey I must be old because I wear purple now :)

Anne Gallagher said...

I have always loved this poem. However, I wonder if orange shirts and green shorts fit the same bill? I do not spit on the sidewalk, but my daughter spits on the beach -- claims it's the salt water taste in her mouth. Ah well. Some things are best left to youth.

Flartus said...

I'm so glad to see this whole poem...so often we only see the first couple of lines. I didn't realize that eating three pounds of sausage was on the schedule. I'd best go buy some good stuff.

Sara said...

This made me giggle :)

GigglesandGuns said...

One of my favorites! Thanks.
My purple days are approaching at a run. No one will be surprised when I do these things, embracing life is the best part of it.

Eva Gallant said...

Love this poem! And it's so true!

Jules said...

Great poem and I love those purple ladies. Now I'm off to learn to spit. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Madi and Mom said...

I love this post and PURPLE!!
I never wore purple because it did not compliment my hair or skin tone.
When my hair started to gray, I found purple was a perfect color with gray hair.
Hugs C

Ms. A said...

While humorous, this is especially meaningful to me, considering my family is shocked at what I've become. (and not because I wear purple)

ds said...

Today I'm wearing a purple shirt. Figures. Must be practicing ;)

Vodka Logic said...

I've been so into purple lately.. old before my time????

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Loved the poem Betty,

Got the blogger jinx, I can use the dashboard but not view my page.

Yvonne.

jenny_o said...

Isn't this a great piece?

rainbow said...

Love the poem, and yes I am into my purple stage but will be more into it now. I have earned the right. ;-) I am even going to start using purple pen at work, they already call me the pen lady and know where to come borrow a pen when they need one, so not so much a change there.

THANKS FOR THE POST AND REALLY BEING A PICK-ME-UP FRIEND FOR ME TODAY. LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

rainbow (Momma Lyn)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sounds almost like a rebellious child!

Donna said...

Oh my...I'd best go find me some Purple!!Hahaa
hughugs

Joyful said...

Lovely purple flowers and a cute poem :-)

Munir said...

Nice very nice.

Miriam in KS said...

My mother loved this poem. She memorized it and recited it at her 40h class reunion. She found a red hat and the rest of her ensemble, giggling as she planned.

I really must go find the picture of her in her getup. It made her happy.

Linda said...

I'm old, and I love this! "Learn to spit"...ha!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's a cute poem and a lovely shade of purple. Happy Tuesday, Betty.
xoRobyn

Pearl said...

I'd never read the whole thing before!

And yes. I must learn to spit.

:-)

Pearl

Baby Sister said...

LOVE that picture. And I must be way old before my time, because I LOVE purple...but that's okay with me. :)

Pat said...

I love this poem, and I may very well wear purple when I get old, but I REFUSE to wear RED with it. You CAN'T MAKE ME. I will NOT join the RED HAT SOCIETY. I don't care how much fun they have!

McGuffy Ann said...

My very favourite poem! I posted it on my birthday this year. Great!! Thanks for sharing...it never gets "old"! *lol*

Gigi said...

I've never seen the whole poem before; I loved it. I loved it so much that I've decided not to wait until I'm old - I'm gonna start now!

Retired English Teacher said...

I've always loved this poem. I don't know why most of the time a person only sees the shortened version. I think the poem has much more meaning when one reads the entire thing. Duh, I guess that is the way it is with all poems.

Daisy said...

I love this poem. There's an active red hat ladies group here in my town. I'm not quite old enough to join yet, but I expect my time is coming. haha! :D

julie fedderson said...

This is one of my favorites and I hadn't read it in forever. Thanks for sharing!

Marlene said...

I love it!!! And I'm already practicing. ;)

Sush said...

I have heard of Red Hat clubs where the women meet for parties and such and wear red hats and purple boas! Always been a fan of the poem~

Hugs~

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I can't remember if I ever read the entire poem before. I love purple and I'm about ready to try some of those other things too.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Love this poem. I had a boss who loaned me a book with this poem in it. I suspected she thought I was a bit too serious. Perhaps she was hinting that I should lighten up a bit as I got older.

Anonymous said...

My mom, who passed away recently, always wore the most fabulous clothes, and did the things she wanted to do. I aspire to wear her red hats.

LittleSilkDress said...

Oh, Betty. You took me back to junior high/high school. I wrote an essay around this poem and my love for grandmother, including how her death affected me. It won me first prize in my university's incoming freshman essay contest.