A Cycle of Love Songs Translated by the Nobel Laureate
"Dappled woodland light,
Spring well chill and bright,
Eyes like stars at night,
Open knees so white.
Four things death itself won't cover,
In 1917, while reading his local newspaper, the Czech composer Leos Janacek discovered the poems that he was to set to music in his song cycle Diary of One Who Vanished. Written by Ozef Kalda and published anonymously, they 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 the English National Opera for a series of international performances, which opened in Dublin in October 1999.