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Patience Strong


The very best part of a party, I think
Is the house before guests come along -
And you sit very still, just composing your thoughts
(if you don't things are bound to go wrong) ...

When the table is laid and the places are set,
And the fire is ablaze in the grate,
When the flowers are arranged and the lamp is switched on
And there's nothing to do but just wait...

And at last when the bell rings and people crowd in,
Bringing gaiety, laughter and fun -
Then you feel that you've lived through it all in your thoughts -
As you hasten to welcome each one...

I enjoy every moment I spend with my guests
Till the good-byes are said in the hall -
But the quiet hour of anticipation, for me,
Is the very best part of it all.

This poem is in the public domain.

Patience Strong (1907 – 1990) was the pen name of British writer Winifred Emma Cushing. She began writing as a child but didn’t actively begin publishing until she was in her twenties.  Author of numerous books and more than a hundred songs, Patience’s work tended to be short and sentimental, focusing on the beauty of nature or offering messages of hope and encouragement. She wrote daily and weekly poems for several newspapers and magazines all through World War II and continuing for more than 35 years.


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Thanks for introducing us to Patience Strong. An interesting perspective!
Posted 01/02/2024 11:26 AM
Janice Galt:
Setting the table last evening for6 special guests sure fit with this thoughtful poem! Thank you!
Posted 01/01/2024 07:01 PM
The last 15 minutes before the party, when all is ready, and I can simply sit on the couch and enjoy the results of my work, are wonderful! Good choice for New Year's Eve, Jayne! And a Happy New Year to you!
Posted 12/31/2023 03:51 PM
michael escoubas:
Like Darrell, below, I never really considered Strong's perspective on hosting an event. Nice take.
Posted 12/31/2023 03:38 PM
The perfect poem picked for her pen name, isn't it? ...and Jayne picked the perfect poem closing 2023. Happy New Year YDP family.
Posted 12/31/2023 12:25 PM
As I read aloud, the rhythms carried me along.
Posted 12/31/2023 11:13 AM
Larry Schug:
the poet paints a lovely scene. I feel like one of hr guests
Posted 12/31/2023 09:48 AM
Darrell Arnold:
This nicely written poem reminds me of something about women it took me until my 50s to understand. When an event is planned, a man will start thinking about it and get himself ready for it about an hour before it starts. A woman, on the other had will joyfully spend the entire day of the event getting ready for the event. For a woman, getting herself fixed up and ready for the event is actually part of the event. What a giant revelation that was for me!
Posted 12/31/2023 08:17 AM
Joan Luther:
Joyful rhythm! Happy New Year!
Posted 12/31/2023 08:03 AM
I like it!!
Posted 12/31/2023 05:37 AM

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