AND IN CLOSING...

If you found any beauty
in the poems of this book
Or some peace and some comfort
in a word or line,
Don’t give me praise
or worldly acclaim
For the words that you read
are not mine...
I borrowed them all
to share with you
From our HEAVENLY FATHER above,
And the joy that you felt was God speaking to YOU
as HE flooded your heart with HIS LOVE.

Helen Steiner Rice
(1900-1981)

Editor’s note:

For nearly 30 years Helen Steiner Rice served a greeting card company in Cincinnati as editor and verse writer with distinction, but without wide recognition.

Mrs. Rice married a wealthy Dayton, Ohio, banker in 1929, but their marriage ended in tragedy. Distraught by losses that resulted from the stock market collapse, her husband took his own life. In 1931, Mrs Rice joined Gibson Greeting Cards in Cincinnati. A short time later, she was named editor of the company’s card line and for the next 50 years she wrote literally millions of verses for greeting cards.

In one fell swope, in 1960, an event took place that changed her reputation for all time. One of her verses was read—though she was not identified as its author----on the Lawrence Welk television program, and within a very short time her name was on the tongues of people everywhere.

When her beautiful poem, “The Priceless Gift of Christmas,” was featured on the Lawrence Welk television show it was read by a performer named Aladdin, who had received it on a Christmas card sent by his sister in New York. The verse prompted thousands of letters requesting copies. Several other poems written by Mrs. Rice were all featured on the Welk program, but none generated the tremendous response as :”The Priceless Gift of Christmas.”

When her mother, Anna Bieri Steiner, died February 20, 1945 in Lorin, Ohio, at the age of 73, Helen composed a poem that reflected her mother’s unshakeable faith in God. “I simply restated in verse her philosophy about life and death,” Helen explained. When it was published on greeting cards, “When I Must Leave You” became an all-time favorite, having now been reprinted in the millions.

Several times the magazine, amongst many, Guideposts, owners Norman Vincent Peale and Leonard LaSourd contacted Mrs. Rice to have her sit for a feature article.

They stated to her, “Everyone loves your poems, but they want to know more about the woman behind them.”

Her response was always prompt and always the same. She wrote that she was too busy to sit for an interview. Furthermore, she said she wasn’t much interested in being written about. “I’m just another worker in the vineyard of the Lord, trying to do God’s will. All I have to say is in the thoughts He places on my heart, thoughts I then put to rhyme.”

If you take the time to get to know this phenomenal lady through her published works you will find there was something about her simple, sweet, heart-felt, sentiments of faith and hope, giving and forgiving, caring and sacrifice that touched hearts and warmed souls. (The touching continues although she is gone for now).

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D.U.O Project
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