Jenny Joseph

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

  • Veteran Poet - 1,017 Points Briony Nicholls (8/28/2015 9:39:00 AM)

    I like the sentiment & theme of this poem very much but just feel it isn't expressed especially well from the point of view of poetical craftsmanship. Many lines sounds quite clunky and jarring (eg And learn to spit) . There is very little that endears me to this poem. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 261 Points Vhulenda Maudu (7/28/2015 4:07:00 AM)

    Very niceAdd a comment (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,104 Points Abdalla Juma Shenga (7/16/2015 8:46:00 AM)

    nice poem. i love it. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 181 Points Flora Losi (7/1/2015 8:04:00 PM)

    love this! amazing poem.. reminds me of grandma :) (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 537 Points Mohabeer Beeharry (6/18/2015 9:16:00 AM)

    It is lovely to be reading this writing. So much of feeling and insight in life.
    I really must learn from it.
    Could I invite you to read my poems. Thank you
    Mohabeer Beeharry (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,046 Points Phanice Wamukota (6/6/2015 7:26:00 AM)

    Its not nostalgia. Its the days she never had. And its beautiful (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 112 Points Nishu Sharma (5/8/2015 5:40:00 AM)

    Very nice (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,494 Points John Richter (2/6/2015 7:04:00 AM)

    Eric... I don't think this is a little crazy. How wonderfully she expresses her desire to become the child she was never able to be - after many, many years of towing the line, dotting her 'i's and crossing her 't's..... This poem, and I suspect Miss Jenny, are absolutely wonderful.. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,494 Points John Richter (2/6/2015 6:59:00 AM)

    OMG! I just fell in love! (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 7,657 Points Eric Ericson (11/12/2014 4:28:00 AM)

    sometime you just have to be a little crazy (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,583 Points Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/8/2014 5:03:00 PM)

    Honest portrayal of an aging human. Very realistic. Simple and true, a subject not usually taken up in poetry. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,136 Points Kee Thampi (11/2/2014 6:59:00 AM)

    when sun shines h e is not for a walk a drink (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,822 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (10/31/2014 9:52:00 AM)

    A warning to the spendthrift, and a warning not to spoiled but be an example with the act to the young, do fun but don't be funny (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 5,723 Points Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (10/7/2014 5:09:00 PM)

    Your poem reminds me of the Red Hat Society...very funny...we are allowed to lose It' when we get older what better use for senility's rebellion? ? (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 33,355 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (9/5/2014 11:05:00 PM)

    The live and its future a mystic poem that I think it is. The poet here made a wonderful poem and lot of things proposed in the old age and in the end of the poem she says her wishes that to become good examples for the children. And the starting comments and wishes of spending the old ages comes through an end and getting a nicety of thoughts to love the children which seems to be the different thoughts in the minds of an individual in her or his old age naturally coming. I liked the poem in letter and spirit. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,822 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (8/25/2014 9:47:00 PM)

    Amazing, amusing with truth sprinkled (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 913 Points Stephen W (8/14/2014 9:52:00 AM)

    Very amusing. Don't practice prematurely. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,238 Points Primrose Tee (7/2/2014 12:35:00 PM)

    Lol...very nice poem made m smile (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 75 Points Sharilynn Reaser (6/24/2014 4:26:00 AM)

    Except for the references to alcohol I can relate to this poem and find it rather comedic. I am starting to reach the age where I really don't care about what people think about what I look like or how I dress myself; so the imagery depicted of her dressing in a different way and acting differently, the not caring what others think, is fun. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 45 Points Colleen Courtney (5/2/2014 12:10:00 AM)

    Love this poem so much. Amazing imagery it creates. (Report) Reply

Read all 100 comments »

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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

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