Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

In addition to writing plays, Donagh MacDonagh collaborated with A. J. Potter in a ballet, Careless Love, and an opera, Patrick, neither of which has been published. MacDonagh published two essays—one on his father, Thomas MacDonagh, in 1945, and one on James Joyce, in 1957—and was the author of several short stories. He often wrote new lyrics for old Irish ballads, some of which are collected in The Hungry Grass (1947) and A Warning to Conquerors (1968), two volumes of his poetry. With Lennox Robinson, MacDonagh coedited The Oxford Book of Irish Verse (1958) and, at the time of his death, was working on a dictionary of Dublin slang, which remains unfinished. The dictionary and the rest of MacDonagh’s personal library and papers became the property of the Irish University Press.

Most important is MacDonagh’s poetry, published in four volumes: Twenty Poems (1933), Veterans and Other Poems (1941), The Hungry Grass, and A Warning to Conquerors. Even his earliest poems are essentially dramatic and therefore foreshadow his later plays. Some, such as “Dublin Made Me” and “The Hungry Grass,” are essentially mood pieces calculated to evoke in the reader precise feelings, such as patriotic allegiance to a proud, unbowed city or the nameless, all-encompassing fear of straying into a cursed area. Other poems are character sketches or dramatic dialogues apparently...

(The entire section is 536 words.)