Friday, March 20, 2009

An Old Woman of the Roads, a poem by Padraic Colum.

Padraic Colum, (1881–1972), the first of eight children, was an Irish poet, novelist, dramatist, biographer and collector of folklore. He was one of the leading figures of the Celtic Revival and a founder of Dublin’s famous Abbey Theatre. He was a prolific author and published a total of 61 books, not counting his plays. Three of his books for children were awarded retrospective citations for the Newbery Honor.

He was born Patrick Collumb in a workhouse in county Longford, where his father was the workhouse master. When his father lost his job in 1889, and moved to America to take part in the Colorado gold rush, Padraic and the rest of the family remained in Ireland. He studied at University College, Dublin where he met his wife Mary Maguire. In 1914, they left Ireland for America, where they lived in New York. In the 1930s, the Colums moved to France where Padraic renewed his old friendship with James Joyce. The Colums returned to America and were made US citizens in 1945.

"A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers." - John F. Kennedy

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 against 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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this, What year did Colum write it ?