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.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Warning by Jenny Joseph )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
James Russell Lowell
(22 February 1819 – 12 August 1891)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
Poem of the Day
- This Soul's Interior Particles, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Soul's Interior Particles, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Total Encompassing Love, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Notes Of Sadness, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Living With Shadows, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Childhood Preparing Life, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Tempted, Electric Lady
- Sincerity, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Explanations In Verse, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Coinciding Thoughts, RoseAnn V. Shawiak