Dancers Anonymous > When I am old I shall wear purple

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by SwinginBoo, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

    with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

    And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

    and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

    I shall sit down on the pavement when I am 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 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 pickles for a week

    and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts 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.

    Poem by: Jenny Joseph

    This is one of my favorite poems. I love the silliness of it. :tongue:
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    This poem is silly, but to me, it's also profound. Think about all the constraints put upon us by society -- the expectations we "have to" live up to when we're young. And the freedom that comes with age -- the ability to say what we think, be who we are, and wear purple if we want. It's profound stuff, methinks. :D
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Here's one of my favorite poems, by Edna St. Vincent Millay
    A bit somber, but beautiful and evocative of so much feeling.


    Listen, children:
    Your father is dead.
    From his old coats
    I'll make you little jackets;
    I'll make you little trousers
    From his old pants.
    There'll be in his pockets
    Things he used to put there,
    Keys and pennies
    Covered with tobacco;
    Dan shall have the pennies
    To save in his bank;
    Anne shall have the keys
    To make a pretty noise with.
    Life must go on,
    And the dead be forgotten;
    Life must go on,
    Though good men die;
    Anne, eat your breakfast;
    Dan, take your medicine;
    Life must go on;
    I forget just why.
  4. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    That's quite a poem. It makes me think about what we do when people pass on. We divy up their things, and try to go on as if nothing happened. We can't do that though. There has to be a time to mourn our losses and celebrate the lives of those we've lost. Only then can the world turn, turn, turn.
  5. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Nice poem . . . and I certainly relate to poems.

    I have a similar poem that I have kept near me for at least the last 30 years ago.

    I keep that poem pinned up on a wall in my garage, and read it as often as I enter and exit the garage . . . probably at least once a day!

    The color of the paper on which that poem was written have yellowed, and edges have frayed, yet the words are as readable as the day I wrote them down.

    The poem has had a overly-prolific power in my life. I literally have lived those words . . . becoming older and cantankerous . . . raw-edged . . . color of the earth . . . until I eventually discorporate form shear joy!
  6. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    Would you post it here Vince? I'd love to hear it.

  7. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    OK, Stephanie . . some of those words were in the last two entences in my last reply to you . . .
  8. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    haha, reminds me of this little old lady I saw at walgreens' the other night..
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    A Beautiful Poem by Maya Angelou

    Because of that I share Maya Angelou

    When I was in my younger days,
    I weighed a few pounds less,
    I needn't hold my tummy in
    to wear a belted dress.
    But now that I am older,
    I've set my body free;
    There's the comfort of elastic
    Where once my waist would be.
    Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
    My feet have not forgiven;
    I have to wear a nine now,
    But used to wear a seven.
    And how about those pantyhose-
    They're sized by weight, you see,
    So how come when I put them on
    The crotch is at my knee?
    I need to wear these glasses
    As the print's been getting smaller;
    And it wasn't very long ago
    I know that I was taller.
    Though my hair has turned to grey
    and my skin no longer fits,
    On the inside, I'm the same old me,
    It's the outside's changed a bit.

    But, on a positive note...
    I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today,
    life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

    I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she
    handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled
    Christmas tree lights.

    I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents,
    you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

    I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a

    I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

    I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt
    on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

    I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I
    usually make the right decision.

    I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

    I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
    People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

    I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

    I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget
    what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
  10. Vince A

    Vince A Active Member

    Some of the lines in Maya Angelou's (one of my favorite authors) poem reminded of one that I wrote for a contest . . . I wrote this in 15 minutes! The contest asked for a poem on the subject of what the last day of school means to me. Some syntax, etc., may be off, but remember, I only had 15 mnutes.

    I thought it was appropriate here as we discuss things we've learned and things we've done, and things we shall do - when we take some time for ourselves . . . before we become to old. See if you can relate?

    The last day of school reminds me of:
    "The things I did, when I was a kid."

    Last day of school, no more class,
    Running home through fields of grass.
    Into my room, throwing down the books,
    Sneaking out the door like a would-be-crook.
    "The things I did, when I was a kid."

    A bat, a glove, and a ball,
    I'd play 'til night would surely fall.
    Fourteen innings, always the winner,
    Falling asleep, face down in my dinner.
    "The things I did, when I was a kid."

    Brushing teeth, off to the shower,
    Removing the dirt, Mom would scour.
    Jumping up on Dads' left knee,
    Just to find out, what's on the TV.
    "The things I did, When I was a kid."

    Both of us sitting, both of us wishing,
    We'd have more fun if we were just fishing.
    Getting late, over his shoulder,
    Could stay up later, if I were only older.
    "The things I did, when I was a kid."

    Going to bed late,
    Something I'd grow to hate.
    Reading my comics, by flashlight, under the cover,
    With my best friend, my younger brother.
    "The things I did, when I was a kid."

    Turning to the coolness of the "wall,"
    Into silent slumber I'd soon fall.
    Drifting off, I'd silently pray,
    Lord, give me just one more day to play.
    "The things I did, when I was a kid."

    Summer's gone, it's nearly fall,
    It's eight-thirty, into bed, I can barely crawl.
    Drifting off, I silently pray,
    Lord just give me one more day.
    Now older, realizing that, "the things that I did"
    Could only be done, "when I was a kid."
  11. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

    Beautiful poem, Vince!
    Beautiful thread.
  12. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Constraints that we allow to be put on us. I refuse to allow this to be so. I think I'm going to wear a necklace today, for instance. I mean tonight to the latin dance. It probably will eb a purple one too. :wink: :)
  13. dancersdreamland

    dancersdreamland New Member

    I love the "I Shall Wear Purple..." poem. My sister-in-law and I treasure the poem between the two of us and plan to follow its guidelines when we are ""
  14. Ms_Sunlight

    Ms_Sunlight New Member

    I love To A Louse by Burns.

    Who is more ridiculous, the louse itself, or the fine lady it's infesting?

    It's good to remember that no matter what we think of ourselves and our lives, there is always another (sometimes less flattering) perspective. Oh, and to remember to laugh. :D

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