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One

Padraic
Colum (b. Dec. 8, 1881 - d. Jan. 11, 1972)

Photograph courtesy of Phillip Brown
(See his Celtic Folklore site)
www.belinus.co.uk/folklore/ we tried to reach/find Phillip Brown's Celtic Folklore site (it is, apparently much admired) without success. We hope he is still at the helm (we would like to exchange links, if nothing else).


Irish poet, dramatist, folklorist and children's writer, born in Longford County under the name Patrick Collumb. He was one of the founders of The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, and worked with Yeats and Lady Gregory. In 1914 he and his wife Mary left Ireland for America, soon entering New York literary circles. His books include a play The Land (1905), Wild Earth (1907), The King of Ireland's son (1916) a story for children, Dramatic legends (1922), Castle Conquer (1923) (his first novel) and Irish Elegies (1958).
In the thirties the Colums left for France. There he renewed his old friendship with Joyce, for whom he typed parts of Finnegans Wake. He had before that contributed a preface to Anna Livia Plurabelle.
The Colums returned to America and were made US citizens in 1945. He wrote Our Friend James Joyce (1958) and Ourselves Alone, a biography of Griffin in 1959. He died in Enfield, Connecticut and was buried in Ireland.
Padraic was a perfect representative for all those who wish to preserve Irish Culture and Customs. We do not give him enough space or time.
Perhaps over the years ahead we can make up a little of the attention he deserves; for all our sakes.


A Drover
by Padraic Colum

Let them not forget us, the weak souls among
the asphodels –
Seferis,  Mythistorema
 
TO MEATH of the pastures,
From wet hills by the sea,
Through Leitrim and Longford
Go my cattle and me.
 
I hear in the darkness
Their slipping and breathing.
I name them the bye-ways
They’re to pass without heeding.
 
Then the wet, winding roads,
Brown bogs with black water;
And my thoughts on white ships
And the King o’ Spain’s daughter.
 
O! farmer, strong farmer!
You can spend at the fair
But your face you must turn
To your crops and your care.
 
And soldiers—red soldiers!
You’ve seen many lands;
But you walk two by two,
And by captain’s commands.
 
O! the smell of the beasts,
The wet wind in the morn;
And the proud and hard earth
Never broken for corn;
 
And the crowds at the fair,
The herds loosened and blind,
Loud words and dark faces
And the wild blood behind.
 
(O! strong men with your best
I would strive breast to breast
I could quiet your herds
With my words, with my words.)
 
I will bring you, my kine,
Where there’s grass to the knee;
But you’ll think of scant croppings
Harsh with salt of the sea.



A CRADLE SONG
by Padraic Colum

O men from the fields,
Come gently within.
Tread softly, softly
O men coming in!

Mavourneen is going
From me and from you,
Where Mary will fold him
With mantle of blue!

From reek of the smoke
And cold of the floor
And the peering of things
Across the half-door.

O men of the fields,
Soft, softly come thro'
Mary puts round him
Her mantle of blue.


She Moved Through The Fair
by Padraic Colum

My young love said to me,
My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you
For your lack of kind"
And she stepped away from me
And this she did say:
It will not be long, love,
Till our wedding day"

As she stepped away from me
And she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And then she turned homeward
With one star awake
Like the swan in the evening
Moves over the lake

The people were saying,
No two e'er were wed
But one had a sorrow
That never was said
And I smiled as she passed
With her goods and her gear,
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me,
My dead love came in
So softly she came
That her feet made no din
As she laid her hand on me
And this she did say
It will not be long, love,
'Til our wedding day


An Old Woman of the Roads
by Padraic Colum

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods upon the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house—a house of my own—
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

For more Padraic Colum poetry click Colum Next Page


For more Poetry Click the Poetry Index.

One

 

Thu, Jul 9, 2015
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Selected Poems of Padraic Colum

At the age of twenty three Colum was already a gifted, prolific, and versatile writer. He was a major contributor to the Irish National Theatre Society, founded by by W. B. yeats, Lady Gregory, AE (George William Russell), and others, and he himself was one of the founders of the immortal Abbey Theatre.
Unlike other leading figures of the Irish Literary revival, Colum alone was a Roman Catholic, peasant born and country bred. AE convinced the young writer that he had a mission as a poet: to portray the fundamental nature of the Irish peasant experience as only Colum could.
Please click Selected Poems of Padraic Colum.


Field Work
Seamus Heaney


After Bridget finished her recent article about After the Harvest (Putting out the Hare...) we were prompted to look for other references to Harvest Knots. We weren't too surprised to find a poem by Seamus Heaney from his book Field Work.


1000 Years of Irish Poetry: The Gaelic and Anglo Irish Poets from Pagan Times to the Present
by Kathleen Hoagland

Interested in Irish Poetry?Here's the easy way to collect them all (well, almost all, anyway).
Malachy McCourt says in his introduction, "With the republication of this book, the Irish recover under their roof of stars all the great poets and writers who have been falsely claimed by the saxon crown and its minions - even our reprobates."
Amazon states this is out of stock. They still have used copies for almost nothing (except shipping - chuckle). If you would like a new edition, it was available at Powell's. We can't promise it's still there. Click here for Powell's 1000 Years.
Click here for used at Amazon.


 

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