In 1917, reading his local newspaper, the great Czech composer Leos Janacek (1854-1928) discovered the poems that he was to set in his song cycle Diary of One Who Vanished. Written by Ozef Kalda and published anonymously, the poems tell the story of a farmer's boy who abandons his home because he has fallen in love with a gypsy. These new English versions by Seamus Heaney were commissioned by English National Opera for a series of international performances that opned in Dublin in October of 1999.
Seamus Heaney's death last week left a rift in our lives, and in poetry, that won't easily be mended. A Nobel Laureate, a devoted husband, a sharp translator, a beloved friend, and the big-hearted leader of the "Government of the Tongue," Seamus was a poet of conscience...
Seamus Heaney; A Song Cycle by Leos Janacek of Poems by Ozef Kalda
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013) received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. His poems, plays, translations, and essays include Opened Ground, Electric Light, Beowulf, The Spirit Level, District and Circle, and Finders Keepers. Robert Lowell praised Heaney as the "most important Irish poet since Yeats."