'I Shall Wear Purple', with pleasant regards to Jenny Joseph

Jenny Joseph, English poetry writer and journalist, who won several awards for her works.
Jenny Joseph, English poetry writer and journalist, who won several awards for her works.

Jenny Joseph, English poetess, wrote her frank and charming 'purple poem' in 1961.

The original 'Warning, When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple' poem was written by Ms. Joseph in 1961 when she was thirty years old, a stunning treatise of aging expressed with intense feelings and description, and her poetically stated intentions that were quite exquisitely out of the ordinary!

It was not originally widely accepted in Britishpublication but when it was printed in the New York Times, it became a globally well-known and expressive icon of women's aging and freedom. In a poll offered by the BBC in 1996, her poem was accepted as the most popular post-war poetry ever published in British history.

Joseph's second-line poetic words became the inspiration for the Red Hat Society that has been popular over the globe. Love and laughter are the backbone and ribs of this club for ladies, delightful wearers of red hats and purple clothing with other red accessories. Their individualized yet intwined society expresses the joy of life in self and others, much like the poetic expression of Ms. Joseph's "Warning..." poem.

Ms. Joseph's 'Warning' poem second line reads, "with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me'. However that is not true of the lovely ladies of the Red

The 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph as a print copy on decorative paper.
The 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph as a print copy on decorative paper.
A clip art example of a Red Hat Lady posing for you.
A clip art example of a Red Hat Lady posing for you.

Sharing with you my version of "My Purple Poem"





Some of the distinctly uncommon statements made in Jenny's poem are delightful surprises. Others are quite stunning in shock value for the most of today's staid 'elderizing' ladies, for 'spitting in public places' is certainly not a feminine nor fashionable way to either express or describe one's actions. Neither is 'chawing' if it may be so expressed snidely behind a scented hanky. But the pronounciations of feminine freedom and abilities with the admission of self fulfillment and freely voiced activities by Ms. Joseph are both readable, understandable, and though one may not fully agree with her stated 'freedoms', one must accept that every individual may pursue the right of individual expression, and that very individual 'marching drum music'!

If your curiosity is agile enough, you may click on a link to read Jenny's "Warning" at the bottom of this hub. I hope you will also enjoy reading mine!

So in more gracious manner, here is my own personal version of aging and hope - and a less eccentric individualism, expressed in 'My Purple Poem':

When I am an old woman, I will wear purple!

Yes, and hot pink with roses that smell

(if you scratch them) so wonderfully well!

I shall wear my purple and pink in the fall

and not worry should 'looks' follow, wherever I stall.

On the sidewalk or street bench I'll sit in the sun,

and never get up until I am done.

Yes, wearing purple I'll feel such a queen,

and won't mind a bit when some watch me preen.

In fact, I'll enjoy a sneak peek now and then

just to see if they wonder, and smile once again.

I'll wear my bright purple and feed squirrels and birds,

enjoying their friendship without any words.

Yes, sharing these songs of the feathered and furry,

I'll hear all the sounds of this world without worry.

Green leaves rustle tunes for each season they last,

till winter has come and their sound is all past.

Those greyed branches that tremble and lift to the sky

are rooted in earth that holds spring's bright sigh!

So, aging and newness walk life altogether,

and holding each other they face any weather.

For spring comes again, and then summer's bloom,

before autumn's cooling portrays winter's loom...

Ah! And I have worn purple, and looked in the eye

of each day and each storm that has come and passed by!

Sure, wearing my roses and bright purple hue,

I'll smile at the world and...perhaps at you too!

(While you may be thinking 'You'll wear purple too!)



These Life Changing Seasons

A purple bouquet for Jenny - and for you. Not only for springtime but for sharing gratitude always.
A purple bouquet for Jenny - and for you. Not only for springtime but for sharing gratitude always.
Forget-me-not flowers.  Don't forget to remember Summer and it's promise, it's sandy enjoyable warmth and fun.
Forget-me-not flowers. Don't forget to remember Summer and it's promise, it's sandy enjoyable warmth and fun.
Autumn shares beautifully festive colors in the fall - and at times in our life seasons too. Autumn can give us such exciting music when we listen.
Autumn shares beautifully festive colors in the fall - and at times in our life seasons too. Autumn can give us such exciting music when we listen.
Winter, often cold and icy, graces the bumps of our world with its blankets of white sparkling crystal. It's cold hands beckon to the gradual greening of springtime, even as it coats many days with grey.
Winter, often cold and icy, graces the bumps of our world with its blankets of white sparkling crystal. It's cold hands beckon to the gradual greening of springtime, even as it coats many days with grey.

Beginning in the newness of Spring, we enter summertime with its bright flowers; then autumn dances in with beautiful golden-rust hue. Soon blasts in winter, cold and icy and sometimes bleak. Laden with its frosty patterns, each winter dawn brings us closer to another Spring-- and hope and laughter resounding in magnificent grandeur of color and music that is againSpringtime!

May Spring bring you misty dews and greenness.

May Summer fill your work and play with fun!

May Autumn brush your ears with rustling sound,

throw wildest colors, warming every one, ev'n

as Winter's crystal flakes smooth out the ground

on which you step so carefully. So lovingly...

upon your designated way, your personal journey...

Will you be wearing purple too?

Shades of purple! Add in your own favorite shade too!

Purple in batik.
Purple in batik.
Ah, soft and satiny.
Ah, soft and satiny.
Dewdrops in purple!
Dewdrops in purple!
Feminine floral pattern.
Feminine floral pattern.
And...you never really saw this!
And...you never really saw this!

Of that beautiful frequency, purple!

In therapeutic light treatment, purple is considered decongestive, a combination of vibrational red and calming blue frequencies. Purple, a many shaded color form, is royalty; princely and stimulating, even while alerting the eyes and cellular structures to observe its calming powers. (Does that mean it also gets you 'unstuck' from tradition, social expectedness? Perhaps that was a beginning thought of Jenny Joseph in writing her famous poem?)

This royal mixture, purple - with vibrant red power and stimulatory properties; with serenity of blue and its healing frequencies - might represent in life that ability to reach beyond our own traditions, our own inner personality tendencies, and creatively grasp some of those risky and exciting moments that will come our way along our seasonal journey. Perhaps your shade of purple - or pink - will become a tiny statement of your life intention too.

And hot pink roses...? That is just to help one grasp their representation of those unexpected and surprising moments that show up so wonderfully now and then. And aren't you one of those delightful persons who just luv those magazine 'scratch and sniff' pictures? Let's wear our purple and pink, sit on park benches and whistle at those birdies, crackle at the skittering squirrels, and peek to see if anyone cares!    Wear your colors with glee!

Comments 28 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

I liked them both, but i think I like yours more...ssshhhh...Very fitting for these days and where I am in my life...not that hers wasn't also...

Let's wear our purple and pink, sit on park benches and whistle at those birdies, crackle at the skittering squirrels, and peek to see if anyone cares...

Loving it can we do it together, someday ??:O) Hugs


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

G-Ma Johnson- For SURE we'll sit on those benches and whistle and crackle -and peek at others-, TOGETHER. Thank you for sharing with me! I look forward to that delightful companionship, and wearing our purples with pleasure! May your day be filled with peace and gratutude even if it is bleak outside!!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Love purple and this poem. I am currently growing old disgracefully.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

ethel smith, I think YOU are wonderful! We'll grow old and wear our purple just as we want! THANK YOU for commenting!


skye2day profile image

skye2day 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Purple is not my color but maybe my skin tone will change.

I will sure sit on the bench's with you all Not that I will give a darn care what some may say, so what if we twitter and chip along with the other what matters most is that we love each other. If some say were nuts let us agree. I know I am right with God and where I will be. I will get a new bod, so who gives a care, just love others and we will be so fair. lol

You are a ray of sunshine and hope froggyfish. Love Ya


typep profile image

typep 7 years ago

She sounds like she was such a fun person, somebody that I would have loved to have known! ;-)


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

skye2day, it doesn't have to be purple, wear YOUR style with gratitude and freedom and grace - that's what it is all about - and those truths come from God!

typep, yes, I think she was a fun person. I'm trying to be a little more like her too! Thank you ladies, much, for enjoying my poem and your sweet comments!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

I loved your poem frogyfish and I really enjoyed all the images. And yes...I really DID see that last one. LOL


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Now Peggy, are you SURE it wasn't a purple Easter chickie? OK, TELL US about it! Please!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

frogyfish, I love that poem, so beautiful and silly at the same time. Great hub. Have you ever heard the song 'Start Wearing Purple' by Gogul Bordello? It's wild, silly, and hilarious. You might like it. It fits with your theme.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Dolores Monet, glad to give you pleasure. And no, I have not heard that song, but will try to find it. Thanks for comment and the tip too!


Deltachord profile image

Deltachord 7 years ago from United States

Hi frogyfish,

Enjoyed your article and poem. Feisty elderly ladies are charming. There is no need to be stodgy. Keep writing!


atomswifey profile image

atomswifey 6 years ago from Michigan

Loved your poem so much and the article was divine. :)


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

I always admire feisty olderly ladies with a sense of humor and "who cares" attitude--their sense of abandonment and spontaneity is delightful.

Love your version of the purple poem. I suspect you have a wonderful spirit to match.

Did u ever receive the response to the email you sent me?


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

atomswifey and aginwu, glad you liked the feisty poem! Yeaa-ah, I like purple too! :-)

aginwu, I did and I was delighted! Thank you!


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

I took a look at this hub initially because of the poem it refers to; I have a small book with it in. The hub was very interesting and I liked how you put it together. Very nice on a dull winter morning it brought some colour into it.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

2uesday, thank you! Hope your color was purple? At least cheerful and warming to your day. Thank you for commenting.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Fun poem FF--I like Jenny Joseph she had moxie and wit and a way with words.

When I grow old I will wear a rainbow of colors

A red sock and a blue sock and a variety of others

Camouflage in winter and a sombrero in fall

Suspenders in the spring and in summer

...nothing at all.

=:)


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Winsome, I have not worn suspenders, but perhaps I should dare give even that a try...? Thank you for your words!


carriethomson profile image

carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Love your poem.. even better than the original

I hope I’ll find friends wearing purple too!!

Saying we enjoy with thee..

While aging gracefully along with mee..

Keeping company with the childhood rhymes

While acknowledging the changing times

I hope there will be no worry

And life won’t be in a hurry..

I m sure I’ll find friends in purple too

To enjoy life with zest and without much ado..

I would love my friends age along with me.. sharing the same colour as mee .. don’t want to be alone ever without friends..


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

carriethomson, glad you liked the poem.

And YOUR purple poetry is delightful also! Keep on sharing it all!

Thank you for commenting!


BeyondMax profile image

BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

LOL that was just pure awesomeness, love it! Daring and fresh! How cheeky you! =)


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

OK, BeyondMax, now I did not spit on the sidewalk! :-) Thanks for enjoying your visit!


Duchess OBlunt 3 years ago

Nicely done! A great way to look at life. I always wondered why purple and red for that group. You give a reasonable possibility. Interesting thought calm with power - could be explosive.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Duchess OBlunt, thank you for a nicely interesting comment - you have lifted my spirits, on a rather dreary afternoon with cold weather ( I must say for OK) coming to frost us for the first time this fall. In other words, 'Frost shall be on the pumpkin tonight!' Thank you, way up north there!


Duchess OBlunt 3 years ago

Happy to have given a lift - sad you needed one. :)


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 21 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

Hi, stopped by to read your poem and found it to be delightful and interesting at the same time. Sad when friends leave but life is great when you make new ones along the road home. Nice hub. Stella


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 21 months ago from Central United States of America Author

ladyguitarpicker, I think you would be my type of person to wear purple while you pick that big guitar! Thanks for coming!

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