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Welcome to "When I Am An Old Woman" (, a blog inspired by the popular poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph.

About Us: "Warning, When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple" has become a global phenomenon, and we're delighted to be a part of its enduring charm. Since 1984, Elizabeth Lucas Designs has been publishing a calligraphic version of this delightful poem, which captures the spirit of growing old in a wonderfully outrageous style. Written in 1961 by Jenny Joseph, who resides in Minchinhampton, England, the poem is known by various titles, including "Warning," "When I Am An Old Woman," "The Purple Poem," "Old Woman," "I Shall Wear Purple," simply "Purple," and other affectionate names. It holds a special place in the hearts of thousands of women worldwide, and its light humor has endeared it to people of all ages.

When I Am Old.

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 practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Jenny Joseph

Interest in the poem has continued to grow over the years. Its widespread recognition in America began in the 1980s when Elizabeth Lucas was granted exclusive publishing rights to the copyrighted poem "When I Am An Old Woman" for greeting cards in 1984. Subsequently, an article written by Liz Carpenter in "Texas Monthly" in March 1985 brought further attention to the poem, and it was featured in Reader's Digest, crediting the author, Jenny Joseph. Since then, the Elizabeth Lucas Designs "When I Am An Old Woman" product line has expanded to include prints, clothing, tote bags, framed quotations, plaques, magnets, decorative note cards, snack trays, and other gift items, all featuring the complete poem.

Jenny Joseph herself visited California to meet with Elizabeth Lucas and was honored during Long Beach's Literary Women's Day, becoming the first foreign writer to receive such recognition. Sandra Martz also contacted Jenny about using "Warning" as the front poem and title for an anthology on aging, further contributing to the poem's popularity. Over the years, interest in the poem has spread across the United States and around the world.

The poem has inspired numerous women's groups, and many enthusiasts have donned purple attire and red hats when visiting Elizabeth Lucas Designs. Special events at our office, including signings by Jenny Joseph, have taken place over the last two decades. Countless women have shared photos of their groups dressed in purple, and some have even staged plays based on the poem or written related poetry and stories about aging. All of this is done in the spirit of good fun and camaraderie.

This poem and its author continue to be a source of inspiration for our love of literature, especially poetry. Our website aims to convey the poetic inspirations of various authors, with a particular focus on Mexican and English-language poetry centered around themes of love and life.

Thank you for visiting "When I Am An Old Woman" (, where the spirit of Jenny Joseph's whimsical poem lives on, celebrating the joy of embracing one's unique and colorful journey through life.

Hope You Enjoy Our Blog!


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Lucas Elizabeth

Lucas Elizabeth

Poetry Enthusiast and Poet

I'm Lucas Elizabeth, a poetry enthusiast and writer. Explore my heartfelt poems, engage, analyze, and share your insights to support the growth of my blog. Join me on this poetic journey of self-expression and creativity