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Oh, how I love this poem! When I am old I am going to aspire to its' every detail!
Jenny Joseph wrote this poem in 1961 and it was voted Britain's favourite poem in 1996.
It is written from the point of view of a middle-aged woman who yearns to throw off the cloak of respectability in her old age. For now, she must live the life of expected sobriety but, when she reaches old age she is determined to let respectability fly to the wind!
There is a clear message of defiance and mischief which I feel everybody can relate to, some more than others maybe, but the connection will be there all the same.
To quote just a couple of lines to give you the feeling of the theme:
....and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells and run my stick along the public railings....
The good thing about old age is that nobody cares so much about what you look like or what you do. You can get away with most things and all people will do is call you eccentric!
However, all these acts of defiance must wait. For now she must 'fit in' with life and do what is expected of a respectable middle-aged woman! Her time will come - but then, why wait?!
This is a MUST read for everybody and a salute to freedom in old age!
Priced at &4.99 and available in W.H. Smith and all good bookshops.
Published by Souvenir Press ISBN 0-285-63411-9 Illustrated by Pythia Ashton-Jewell