Eighty-four-year-old Harry Shecter describes himself as an artist and a storyteller.
Motivation to do the right thing is the theme of his latest book of poems and he said the majority of the proceeds goes to the Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia.
“I had a very dear friend of mine… he was my buddy, my pal. He got Alzheimer’s and I lost him so this is a tribute, a remembrance in his name.”
Shecter said his book, Poetry to Live By: The Compilation, is not based on himself, but on other people and their experiences.
“I grew up listening to people and I was interested in the way they behaved… they had certain characteristics that caught my eye.”
The first poem of the compilation, The Artist, is based on his daughter and is dedicated to the artists of Parksville.
“This town is an artist’s town,” Shecter said.
“The message I’m trying to portray in my book is (that) moral goodness gets you by.” Shecter said. “If you’re going to be a success in life you’ve got to do the right thing, the right way, and that’s behavior to get you respect.”
His poems follow a basic rhyme scheme because he said it’s easier to deliver the theme of the poems that way. “I want to have the rhyme end the (meaning) in the message,” he said.
His book is the third compilation he’s written. The first two have different themes about morality and ethics while he describes this third book as “the best of both.”
Shecter said he started writing about eight or nine years ago.
“I wrote a book and said it’s not so bad… all of a sudden I’m at the computer and I’ve got poems sitting there, (well) what am I going to do with them?”
Shecter said he felt complete when the third installment was published.
One of Shecter’s poems has also been published by The Poetry Institute of Canada in an anthology that resides in The National Library of Canada.
Writing the poems can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two days for Shecter. His book was first published in 2013.
The book costs $25 with $15 of the price donated to the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
You can buy copies at the offices of The NEWS on Middleton Avenue in downtown Parksville.