I submit this for your amusement. It is one of my favourite poems.

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

45 Replies

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  • Hi Toci

    Have heard this before, and love it!

    Thanks so much for sharing it with us.πŸ˜†

    Rubyxx 😊 😊

  • You're welcome. I can't hear it too often.

  • Its already happened - I AM an old woman Toci :D And i love the poem :) :)

  • " Hehehehe! SNAP!! Jean...Me too....lol hoping your keeping yourself fit and.. well and well.....Wrap up!!...its Brrrrrrrrrr.....xx Megan."

  • Hi Megan, yes isn't it freezing. Quite fit thanks, so far so good this winter but like anyone that could change in an instant. Hope you and Cherie are doing well. :) xx

  • " Thank you Jean. Yes!!.. Both Cherie and little me... are really Truly so Happy.. we are both so glad we had the courage too totally change our lives around. Best thing that as ever happened to Us. jean...And she is now working close to where we live.. in one the large Veterinary practices...and just loves the people.. and our wet ..cold damp miserable country...lol...someone has too...don't they..lol....take care my friend...xx Megan"

  • I am an old woman too, O2. Funny that, I went from young straight to old without ever touching 'middle-aged'.

  • " So beautiful. And So True.... Toci I'm hoping your keeping yourself well... well wrapped up.. and warm. Thank you for sharing with us...xxxxx Megan."

  • I'm not doing too badly at the moment, thanks for asking. Still looking for just the right red hat though! xx

  • Doing most of that already! Great poem and made me smile. Xxx (

  • Me too!

  • I'm not a great lover of poetry toci ( don't understand a lot of them, must be the blonde in me lol ) but did appreciate and get this one 😊😊 xx Sonia xx

  • Sometimes the simple ones are the best, lol (from an ex-blonde). xx

  • Thanks toci, Simple rhyming ones I get, deep big worded ones when the sentences run on from each other more like a story but told differently are the ones that make no sense to me ( not all of them just most of em ) lol 😊😊 xx Sonia xx

  • I know exactly what you mean. To my mind, there is not a lot of use in writing what others cannot understand.

  • Have always loved this poem, but had sort of 'lost' it, thanks for reminding me. My boys say I am a bit like this but my grandchildren love their nutty nanny!

  • My grandchildren too. In our family we know that 'normal' is the equivalent of 'boring'! xx

  • My younger son is not embarrassed by Mum and takes me up the pub to watch the rugby with his mates who are all impressed by my capacity to drink pints. The older one worries that I will get us thrown out for my comments and won't take me to Twickenham when he goes, I think he is mean! Lol

  • Yes I have heard various versions of this poem,but it always make me smile,as I do wear purple in varying shades because it suits me. I am old too. Lol

  • And the red hat? x

  • Awwww no,you know what they say about red hat and ** ******* Lol

  • ;)

  • "Awwww..What! ..tell me redted..lol.xx

  • There was an old saying - 'red shoes no knickers', lol.

  • Is this from your own experiences Toci? I used to wear red shoes - a lot! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

  • We all have skeletons in our cupboards - nuff said! x

  • Hi Toci, my Mum used to say 'fur coat, no knickers' 🌹

  • I always thought it was fur coat and no knickers ...thats what my mum used to say.

  • Great poem Toci. Purple doesn't suit me but I adore bright colours, orange, lime green, hectic pink!

    By the way, my mother always says "red hat, no drawers". I once had a red beret which I thought looked very chic & French against my dark bob, but never wore it again after that comment :D

  • Mothers! Great at bolstering confidence, eh!

  • Brilliant poem Toci, not heard it before. My mother also used to say 'red hat no knickers'. Xx

  • In our area it was red shoes, must have varied around the country I think. The woman in the poem sounds as though she may go out without knickers too!

  • I went to school with a girl who didn't wear any. Her mother didn't believe in them, too restricting! Girl didn't mind, said she felt sorry for other girls. There must've come a time when she had to wear them....I'd moved on by then. Never saw her in a red hat though!

    Have you ever had that dream where you're out walking or shopping or something & suddenly realise you're completely naked? Horrible! Wonder what Freud or Jung would make of that.

  • I went to school with a girl who would not take hers off. She wore them under her bathing suit for swimming and kept them on in the showers after games. She would then go to the loo and change them but her uniform was often damp!

  • Oh that made me laugh! Poor little thing, I wonder what worried her so? Larkin was right wasn't he, "they **** you up, your mum & dad, they may not mean to but they do". So that's all of us, in one way or another, whether we realise it or not!

  • I thought only bishops and cardinals wore red with purple :) Although those of us who were teenagers in the 60s and 70s were exposed to lots of purple.

    'Purple haze, all in my brain, lately things just don't feel the same. Am I happy or in misery ? Whatever it is, this girl's put a spell on me.' Remember this, all you fans of the late, great, Jimi Hendrix ? My theory about us all wanting to wear purple when we grant ourselves permission to not give a damn anymore, is that it's a return to the psychedelic, purple haze of our youth and freedom. Who wouldn't want a giant pair of purple velvet flares with a smelly Afgan coat that smelt of old goat and damp ?

    The pounds of sausages and pickles, I'd pass in favour of chocolate and Prosecco but the red hat is essential.

    And what's all this talk of being an 'Old Woman' ? I consider all of us here to be merely spring chickens :)

    Where I lived it was 'all fur coat and no knickers.'

    Love the poem, Toci, great choice.

  • I am only sorry that I can only 'like' your reply once! You need at least ten just for being a Hendrix fan. xx

  • For some reason, I've seen Jimi Hendrix clips on TV about three times recently. Purple Haze was the first record I bought.

    Loved this post Toci. Things have been a bit drab around here lately and this has been such fun.

  • I don't watch TV but Purple Haze was my first of his. xx

  • Hahaha, I love this poem too, recently had green paint in my hair and kind of liked it in a grungy way lol! 😁huff xxx

  • Love this poem too, like many of you. One of us should compose a similar one, pertaining to our own circumstances. Dare you! 😜

  • Now, THAT would be fun. Are you game to have a go?

  • Absolutely! Why not. Watch this space.......

  • With bated breath!

  • lovely thank you xxx

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