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Warning March 12, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.


by Jenny Joseph

When I am old I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn’t go or 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.

Thanks to Red Mum for suggesting this one.



1. laurie - March 12, 2007

you know, i used to like this poem. and then “the red hat society” was formed. and you see them everywhere–stout women in groups of 5 and 8 and 12 and oh i don’t know, 20, all wearing these gigantic swooping bright red hats and going out to lunch.

an entire industry has sprung up around them–shops that sell nothing but red hats, and pins shaped like red hats, and purple caftans, and ….

although i do still like the line about learning to spit.

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