Jenny Joseph

Jenny Joseph
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  • Rookie - 0 Points Alice Cox (11/13/2014 12:29:00 PM)

    This is one of my favorite poems. It reminds me that the simple things are the most important and we forget to enjoy them. As I am aging and slowing down, I cherish the moment of a beautiful blue sky, sunrise or sunset and know that my memories and the love I received from others will be what I take with me when I pass to the next dimension.

  • Rookie - 0 Points Chrissie Simon (9/30/2014 4:11:00 AM)

    As for Donna Jackson, what a boring old fart she already is, without knowing it. So tightly held by her magic pants! How funny! Donna thinks she gets it, bless her, but she is so far away from the truth even a Sat Nav couldn't rescue her!

  • Rookie - 0 Points Chrissie Simon (9/30/2014 3:55:00 AM)

    I love this poem! It's all about saying to hell with responsibility! We've done that, our children have been brought up, we've had the responsible jobs, etc. Now, it's our turn. I'm already halfway there, having been asked to leave John Lewis, for playing on the escalators! Huge fun, and the staff members were laughing as much as me. I do need to learn to spit though, and whistle with my fingers in my mouth. Oh! And learn to play the saxophone. Ageing is inevitable, maturing is optional x so there. Nur.

  • Rookie - 0 Points isabel Storey (3/10/2014 3:42:00 AM)

    In case earlier message not getting through - am seeking your permission to include When I Grow Old at the end of a long short story 'Earning Purple which i plan to publish soon. isabeldorastorey at gmail dot com

  • Rookie - 288 Points Valentin Savin (1/14/2014 7:31:00 AM)

    I liked the poem though it sounds funny. Old people do not care much for being dressed as models. Sometimes they do not have money to buy new clothes and they prefer to put on something old and comfortable for them.

  • Rookie - 5 Points Claire Thomas (4/13/2013 2:20:00 PM)

    Great poem.I nurse patients with dementia and recognise this attitude to life.They are great and thats what keeps them going!

  • Rookie Carol Woodward (12/27/2012 10:43:00 AM)

    What a brilliant poem. I intend to do just that! Bring on the purple!

  • Rookie - 184 Points Karen Sinclair (10/2/2012 2:12:00 AM)

    Just perfect...... really, that she should dream after a life of restrictions and following societies rules and restraints, she looks forward to age as an excuse to finally express herself.....amazing write which made me smile and giggle and also made me sigh a sigh of relief that my parents at least gave me the confidence to wear what i want and express myself from an early age....

  • Rookie Terri-marie Newland (1/18/2007 3:47:00 AM)

    I just want to comment to the post below. im studying GCSE literature, including Jenny Joseph's Warning. and your ideas on it been a social cult was totally wrong. the idea that these women took the symbolisynesm to wear red hats and purple clothes is their intake on the poem. but Joseph herself meant something entirelly diffrent. in my opinion (and maybe you dont care as in only 15) you should analyse poems alot more and learn their intentions to what people graps for them, before you start making assumptions into what quite clearly is a fantastic poem.

  • Rookie Donna Jackson (7/11/2006 10:55:00 AM)

    A few years ago I tuned in (briefly) to the local PBS station's telethon. I was surprised and somewhat befuddled to see the phone banks staffed with older women in red hats and bright purple dresses. I thought it was some kind of Halloween stunt but it was the wrong time of year.
    Then out of the fog of my memory banks I remembered some of the words to this poem, and I thought these outits must have something to do with the poem.
    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but honestly, those women looked ridiculous. It's a challenge to age gracefully, unless you're blessed with good genes. I realize the whole point of the poem is to stick a thumb in the eye of the very idea of aging gracefully. This poem is aptly named; I read it as a warning against looking like a street woman who forgot to take her meds.
    I'm 48 and not a proponent of plastic surgery or fake tans or any of the 'props' that women use to maintain an aura of youthfulness...but I don't see how acting and dressing like a kook is going to gain a woman any respect.
    Unless maybe now that it is a 'society' there is safety in numbers.
    Another reason I don't 'get it' is that I busted out when I was young, and don't feel the need to be 'creative' in middle or old age.

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Best Poem of 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 ...

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