A Poem to Lift You Up
When I first read “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, I instantly loved it. The first two lines propelled me into bliss. This poem feels like a beautiful, vivid, daydream. This daydream is playful and whimsical. It is an antidote to the restrictions of time and practicality that make us submissive to our needs but not to our hearts. There is so much joy that is elicited in this poem, calling for freedom and eccentricity now!
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.