Colum, Padraic

Padraic Colum
Padraic Colum. Image source photographed by w:en:Carl Van Vechten, 1959 June 23. From the w:en:Library of Congress: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/vvhtml/vvres.html

Padraic Colum was born Patrick Collumb on 8 December 1881 at Collumbkille, County Longford.

In 1901 he joined the Gaelic League and adopted the Irish form of his name, Padraic Colum.

Colum was an original Abbey Theatre charter signer and wrote several of the Abbey Theatre’s earliest plays. As a result he became friendly with a number of important figures in the Irish Literary Renaissance including W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Æ, and James Stephens.

He was also a close friend of James Joyce.

In 1914, Colum emigrated to the Unites States with his wife Mary (née Maguire, born Sligo, 1880?, died, 1957). Her autobiography is Life and the Dream, 1947). They lived in France from 1930-1933 before returning permanently to the United States.

His poetry includes Wild Earth and Other Poems (Dublin, Maunsel/New York, Holt, 1916; reprinted Dublin, The Talbot Press, 1950); Creatures (New York, Macmillan 1927); Old Pastures (New York, Macmillan, 1930; Poems (New York & London, Macmillan 1932); The Story of Lowery Maen (New York, Macmillan, 1937); Flower Pieces, New Poems (Dublin, Orwell, 1938); The Collected Poems of Padraic Colum (New York, Devin-Adair, 1953); The Vegetable Kingdom (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1954); Ten Poems (Dublin, The Dolmen Press, 1957); Garland Sunday (Dublin, Dolmen Press, 1958); Images of Departure (Dublin, The Dolmen Press 1969); and Selected Poems (New York, Syracuse University Press, 1989).

He also edited, with an introduction, an Anthology of Irish verse (New York, Boni and Liveright, 1922). cf link below.

His fiction includes Castle Conquer (London & New York, Macmillan, 1923); The Flying Swans (New York, Crown, 1957), which was published in German as Ziehende Schwune (Hamburg, Kroger, 1960); and Selected Short Stories (New York, Syracuse University Press, 1985).

His plays include Broken Soil (Dublin, 1903/London, 1904), revised as The Fiddler’s House (Dublin 1907/ New York, 1941; published Dublin, Maunsel 1907); The Land (Dublin, Abbey Theatre 1905); The Miracle of the Corn, A Miracle Play (Abbey Theatre, 1908); Thomas Muskerry (Dublin and London 1910, published Dublin, Maunsel 1910); and The Desert (Dublin, Devereux 1912). His other published plays include Three Plays (Boston, Little, Brown 1916/Dublin & London, Maunsel 1917); Moytura, A Play for Dancers (Dublin, Dolmen Press 1963); and Selected Plays of Padraic Colum (New York, Syracuse University Press, 1986).

From his arrival in the US, he wrote many books for children, including A Boy in Eirinn (illustrated by Jack B. Yeats. New York, E. P. Dutton 1913/ London, Dent 1915); The King of Ireland’s Son (illustrated by Willy Pogány. New York, Holt, 1916); The Boy Who Knew What the Birds Said (illustrated by Dugald Stuart Walker. New York, Macmillan, 1918); The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy (illustrated by Willy Pogány. New York, Macmillan, 1918); The Girl Who Sat by the Ashes (illustrated by Dugald Stuart Walker. New York, Macmillan, 1919); The Boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter (illustrated by Dugald Stuart Walker. New York, Macmillan, 1920); The Children of Odin: A Book of Northern Myths (illustrated by Willy Pogány. New York, Macmillan, 1920); The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles (illustrated by Willy Pogány. New York, Macmillan, 1921); The Children Who Followed the Piper (illustrated by Dugald Stuart Walker. New York, Macmillan, 1921); The Six Who Were Left in a Shoe (illustrated by Dugald Stuart Walker. Chicago, Volland, 1923); Tales and Legends of Hawaii: At the Gateways of the Day, and The Bright Islands (illustrated by Juliette May Fraser. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 2 vols., 1924-25); The Island of the Mighty, Being the Hero Stories of Celtic Britain Retold from the Mabinogion (illustrated by Wilfred Jones. New York, Macmillan, 1924); The Peep-Show Man (illustrated by Lois Lenski. New York, Macmillan, 1924); The Voyages, Being Legends and Romances of Atlantic Discovery (illustrated by Wilfred Jones. New York, Macmillan, 1925); The Forge in the Forest (illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff. New York, Macmillan, 1925); The Fountain of Youth: Stories to Be Told (illustrated by Jay Van Everen. New York, Macmillan, 1927); Orpheus: Myths of the World (illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff. New York, Macmillan, 1930); The Big Tree of Bunlahy: Stories of My Own Countryside (illustrated by Jack B. Yeats. New York, Macmillan, 1933); The White Sparrow (illustrated by Joseph Low. New York, Macmillan, 1933); Where the Winds Never Blew and the Cocks Never Crew (illustrated by Richard Bennett. New York, Macmillan, 1940); The Frenzied Prince, Being Heroic Stories of Ancient Ireland (illustrated by Willy Pogány. Philadelphia, McKay, 1943); and The Stone of Victory and Other Tales (illustrated by Judith Gwyn Brown. New York, McGraw Hill, 1966).

In 1922, he was commissioned by the Hawaiian legislature to collect Hawaiian myths and legends and to write them as children’s stories. They were published as Tales and Legends of Hawaii: At the Gateways of the Day. Vol I. Illustrated by Juliette May Fraser (New Haven, Published for the Hawaiian Legend & Folklore Commission, by the Yale University Press, 1924); Tales and Legends of Hawaii: The Bright Islands Vol II. Illustrated by Juliette May Fraser (New Haven, Published for the Hawaiian Legend & Folklore Commission, by the Yale University Press, 1925); and Legends of Hawaii (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1937). They were present to President Obama on his State Visit to Ireland in 2011 by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny as a gift to the Obama children.

During his lifetime Colum published over fifty books of poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction, children’s literature, and folklore. He also taught at Columbia University from 1939.

He died on January 11, 1972, in Endfield, Connecticut, but is buried in St Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton, Dublin.


Uploaded by 6073114 on 3 Oct 2008
CLICK ON CLOSED CAPTIONS FOR LYRICS: This video comes from our friends at the BBC, Northern Ireland. Live on the Blackstaff Sessions.(All rights reserved by and for the BBC)

Padraic Colum Papers at University of Delaware

Padraic Column at Wikipedia

Padraic Column at The National Library of Ireland


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