"WARNING" POET DIES AT 85

Jan 17, 2018

By Andy Johnson

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The English poet, whose poem launched the Red Hat Society has died at the age of 85.
Despite being 29 when she wrote it, Jenny Josephs’s “Warning” was about old age.
“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”.
The poem when on to inspire the creation of the Red Hat Society – a women’s group whose members wear purple, accessorized with a red hat.
“Warning” was voted Britain’s favourite modern poem in 2006 after being named England’s favourite “post-war” poem in 1996.
Joseph wrote several poetry and prose collections, the most recent was published in 2009.  She also worked as a newspaper reporter, pub landlady and lecturer, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999.
Jenny Joseph would have turned 86 in May.
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