Irish poet, dramatist, folklorist and children’s writer, born in County Longford 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.
Across the Door
by Padraic Colum
In 1909, James Joyce praised “Across the Door,” with the comment, “I couldn’t have written that.”
The fiddles were playing and playing,
The couples were out on the floor;
From converse and dancing he drew me,
And across the door.
Ah! strange were the dim, wide meadows,
And strange was the cloud–strewn sky,
And strange in the meadows the corncrakes,
And they making cry!
The hawthorn bloom was by us,
Around us the breath of the south ——
white hawthorn, strange in the night–time ——
His kiss on my mouth!