Never too old to be a poet


It’s never too late to learn new tricks, a 97-year-old poet has found.

Aotea woman Dorothy Shea has re­leased her first poetry book, which will be launched at Sum­mer­set Re­tire­ment Vil­lage this month.

Mrs Shea said she had a gift for words in her younger days, but was a short­hand typ­ist when she left school.

‘‘ In my last year of school my teacher said I should get into jour­nal­ism, but women weren’t into it then,’’ she said. ‘‘I al­ways had a gift for words, but didn’t start writ­ing prop­erly un­til I was 70.’’

She did get her name in the news­pa­per, how­ever, when she wrote chil­dren’s sto­ries for Cousin Betty’s col­umn in the South­land Times.

Mrs Shea de­scribed her­self as a cre­ative per­son who en­joyed paint­ing when she was more able.

‘‘I used to make some greet­ing cards and sell them for the can­cer so­ci­ety,’’ she said.

To­day her eye­sight is a lot poorer, but she is still able to no­tate her po­ems.

She has also memorised them and hap­pily reads them aloud on re­quest.

Her poetry book con­tains po­ems that have been writ­ten for spe­cial oc­ca­sions and for her friends at Sum­mer­set Re­tire­ment Vil­lage.

Dorothy’s Po­ems

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