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"wear purple and a red hat"
Posted by: holly sharp (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 16, 2003 06:11PM

This is not a "classic" poem. It is a poem about growing old, and doing your own thing. One of the lines, I think, is "I shall wear purple and a red hat...."
Can you help? I am going to a "Hat Party" and have to bring a poem about my hat! Thanks!

Re: "wear purple and a red hat"
Posted by: Les (---.trlck.ca.charter.com)
Date: June 16, 2003 06:16PM

Here you go:

By 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 the flowers in other peoples 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.


Re: "wear purple and a red hat"
Posted by: holly (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: June 16, 2003 06:45PM

Thank you sooooooooo much. You are wonderful!
This is the first time I have used this site. I will return....looks like my kind of people!

Re: "wear purple and a red hat"
Posted by: ilza (200.162.247.---)
Date: June 16, 2003 06:54PM

it is a lovely poem, isn't it ?

another point of view :

The Little Old Lady in Lavender Silk
Dorothy Parker

I was seventy-seven, come August,
I shall shortly be losing my bloom;
I've experienced zephyr and raw gust
And (symbolical) flood and simoom.

When you come to this time of abatement,
To this passing from Summer to Fall,
It is manners to issue a statement
As to what you got out of it all.

So I'll say, though reflection unnerves me
And pronouncements I dodge as I can,
That I think (if my memory serves me)
There was nothing more fun than a man!

In my youth, when the crescent was too wan
To embarrass with beams from above,
By the aid of some local Don Juan
I fell into the habit of love.

And I learned how to kiss and be merry- an
Education left better unsung.
My neglect of the waters Pierian
Was a scandal, when Grandma was young.

Though the shabby unbalanced the splendid,
And the bitter outmeasured the sweet,
I should certainly do as I then did,
Were I given the chance to repeat.

For contrition is hollow and wraithful,
And regret is no part of my plan,
And I think (if my memory's faithful)
There was nothing more fun than a man!

Re: "wear purple and a red hat"
Posted by: Talia (---.plymouth.in.hypervine.net)
Date: June 26, 2003 12:53PM

Did you know that is a ( or maby several) "societies" that have arised out of this poem that go around to restaurants and other places wearing purple hats and red gloves. Imagine that?

Re: "wear purple and a red hat"
Posted by: Pam Adams (---)
Date: June 26, 2003 01:21PM

I saw one the other day.


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