Helen Steiner Rice

I enjoy reading, and poetry has always been one of my favorite things to read. Sometimes what the poet says will make no sense at all, but other times I can read a poem and come away feeling comforted or encouraged.

One of my favorite poets is Helen Steiner Rice. Mrs. Rice was born into a working-class family in 1900, and her life wasn’t an easy one. In 1918, her father died in the flu epidemic and Mrs. Rice had to work and provide for her mother and younger sister. Mrs. Rice lost her husband shortly after they were married and this tragedy more than any other helped Mrs. Rice to carve out a extraordinary writing career as a poet.

Today I thought that I would share a couple of my favorite poems by Mrs. Rice.

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

We cannot all be famous
Or be listed in “Who’s Who,”
But every person great or small
Has important work to do,
For seldom do we realized
The importance of small deeds
Or to what degree of greatness
Unnoticed kindness leads—
For it’s not the big celebrity
In a world of fame and praise,
But it’s doing unpretentiously
In undistinguished ways
The work that God assigned to us,
Unimportant as it seems,
That makes our task outstanding
And brings reality to dreams—
So do not sit and idly wish
For wider, new dimensions
Where you can put in practice
Your many “good intentions”
But at the spot God placed you
Begin at once to do
Little things to brighten up
The lives surrounding you,
For if everybody brightened up
The spot on which they’re standing
By being more considerate
And a little less demanding,
This dark old world would very soon
Eclipse the “Evening Star”
If everybody brightened up
          The corner where they are!



He Loves You!

It’s amazing and incredible,
But it’s as true as it can be,
God loves and understands us all
And that means you and me—
His grace is all sufficient
For both the young and old,
For the lonely and the timid,
For the brash and for the bold—
His love knows no exceptions,
So never feel excluded
No matter who or what you are
Your name has been included—
And no matter what your past has been,
Trust God to understand,
And no matter what your problem is
Just place it in His Hand—
For in all of our unloveliness
This great God loves us still,
He loved us since the world began
And what’s more, He always will!


Open My Eyes

God open my eyes
So I may see
And feel Your presence
Close to me…
Give me strength
For my stumbling feet
As I battle the crowd
On life’s busy street,
And widen the vision
Of my unseeing eyes
So in passing faces
I’ll recognize
Not just a stranger,
Unloved and unknown,
But a friend with a heart
That is much like my own—
Give me perception
To make me aware
That scattered profusely
On life’s thoroughfare
Are the best gifts of God
That we daily pass by
As we look at the world
With an unseeing eye.

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