(Not sure if the Book Club category is the right place for this, but seemed best related. Apologies if inappropriate, and do please let me know if so?)
It's World Poetry Day! Serious, sentimental, socially conscious business! But what about a fashion/style-statement rhyme? Do you have a favourite?
Here's mine, a very popular (almost ready to be decried by some as populist) yet always pertinent piece:
by Jenny Joseph
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.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm 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 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 pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats 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.
And here's the first I ever read that spoke of dressing up and touched the heartstrings --- a little overly sentimental (I'm not a fan of the Romantics) and certainly quite politically incorrect in our own time, though not all that old; but fascinating for the associations that a piece of 'fashion' can have as iconic of lifestyle and self-representation:
The Bangle Sellers
By Sarojini Naidu
Bangle sellers are we who bear
Our shining loads to the temple fair...
Who will buy these delicate, bright
Rainbow-tinted circles of light?
Lustrous tokens of radiant lives,
For happy daughters and happy wives.
Some are meet for a maiden's wrist,
Silver and blue as the mountain mist,
Some are flushed like the buds that dream
On the tranquil brow of a woodland stream,
Some are aglow wth the bloom that cleaves
To the limpid glory of new-born leaves
Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or rich with the hue of her heart's desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear,
Like her bridal laughter and bridal tear.
Some are purple and gold-flecked grey
For she who has journeyed through life midway,
Whose hands have cherished, whose love has blest,
And cradled fair sons on her faithful breast,
And serves her household in fruitful pride,
And worships the gods at her husband's side.
What about you ladies --- do you have a favourite style anthem? Or one that resonated at another life-stage?