Poetry News

BBC Remembers Poet Jenny Joseph

By Harriet Staff
Jenny Joseph

The BBC posts a remembrance about poet Jenny Joseph, whose writing rose to prominence with her poem "Warning." Joseph passed away at 85. As the BBC's article explains, "Warning was twice voted Britain's favourite poem," adding "It is perhaps best known for its opening lines: 'When I am an old woman I shall wear purple / With a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.'" Picking up there: 

Despite it being about old age, Joseph was in her 20s when she wrote it.

She wrote several poetry and prose collections, the most recent being published in 2009. Joseph died earlier this month after a short illness.

'One of best-loved poets'

Born in Birmingham, Joseph studied at the University of Oxford and went on to work as a newspaper reporter, pub landlady and lecturer.

Her agents described her as "one of Britain's best-loved poets".

Warning was voted Britain's favourite modern poem in 2006 - having previously been named the nation's favourite post-war poem 10 years previously in a BBC poll.

It went on to inspire the launch of the Red Hat Society - a women's group whose members wear purple, accessorised with a red hat.

Read on at BBC.


Originally Published: January 19th, 2018