Jenny Joseph ‘When I’m Old I Shall Wear Purple..’

Posted on 03. Mar, 2012 by in Arts

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Jenny Joseph reads her poem ‘Warning’, Britain’s most popular post-war poem, according to poll conducted by the BBC in 1996. The second line of this poem inspired the formation of America’s Red Hat Society, the largest women’s social group in the world (which has over 70,000 members and almost 24,000 chapters in the US and 25 other countries) and encourages fun, friendship, freedom and fulfilment.

Born in 1932, Jenny Joseph first published ‘Warning’ in 1961 in The Listener — when she was 29 — and later included it in her second collection, ROSE IN THE AFTERNOON (1974) and then in her SELECTED POEMS from Bloodaxe in 1992. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed her reading the poem in Ledbury, Herefordshire, in July 2008, during Ledbury Poetry Festival.

Jenny Joseph lives in Minchinhampton.


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