When I Am An Old Woman...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.

Jenny Joseph

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Edited: Monday, July 30, 2007

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15 Replies

  • :) loved that. Lol, I think i'm halfway there to being that old lady. :D

    Nin x

  • I am there and wear purple on occasions.Lol

  • So do I...!

  • I'm there already!

  • I have read this for years and in just the last few years "ITS ME"!!!!!

    Shock! It still scares me when I walk by a mirror thinking some stranger has gotten into my house!

    It would be bad to have to grow old without a sense of humor !!!

  • Oh! Dear! I like purple......x

  • Oh dear I like purple too,lol! xx

  • This is one of my favourite poems. I've got a pair of purple shoes. I wear them with all colours, if they clash I don't care.

  • I have been looking for a copy of this for ages my sister sent it to me a while back must admit most of clothes are purple easter x

  • That's scary! Have you been watching me Vashti? lol

  • Love it !!!! my Sister sent me this a few years ago, and as time goes by it gets truer and truer ! I have several purple clothes, and really don't care any more if they match, as long as I think I look ok, and feel good. I've never been one for following the latest fashions anyway, and prefer my own style, even if it doesn't fit in with the 'acceptable' look of the day.

    Christine. XXXXXXX

  • I love that. My sister said that she wanted to draw her first pension in Jeans and she did.

  • I am definitely practising already vashti. Take care xxxxx :)

  • Doing it all, but refuse to wear purple! Xx

  • My goodness, there's got to be some benefits of getting old! If I decide to go to the shops by the time I've changed everything I've got on I have run out of energy, so most times I go in my old trousers and comfortable shoes, I doubt anyone notices.

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