Courtesy Phillip Brown
(See his Celtic Folklore site)

Colum Padraic (1881-1972)

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.

I have always loved and admired Padraic Colum, second to few, and I have the greatest respect, and to confess the truth a little envy, of the wise and yet artless way he copes with the difficulties of life. Thus it was a pleasure to think of him in my rooms. (John Cowper Powys, Autobiography)

I met Colum at the office...He looked thinner again and more spiritual. I hope his affairs are all right. He spoke at length, leaning against the wall of the grand Central where he drifted with me - a hard marble support for such a wind-blown elf - of James Joyce and of his new book which no one living, not even Ezra Pound, can understand. All the disciples have fallen down trying in vain to follow this book - even T.S.Eliot can make nothing of it...(John Cowper Powys, Letters to His Brother Llewelyn 20 January 1927)

An Old Woman of the Roads


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

Oh! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
         And roads where there's never a house of bush,
And tired I am of bog and road
         And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

Padraic Colum