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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Diary of One Who Vanished

Diary of One Who Vanished

A Song Cycle by Leos Janacek of Poems by Ozef Kalda

Seamus Heaney; songs by Leos Janacek based on poems by Ozef Kalda

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


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,
Unforgettable forever."

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.

Praise for Diary of One Who Vanished

“Pared to the bone in its simplicity . . . [it fills] the auditorium with the familiar cadences of folk song.” —The Economist -

In the Press

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... - FSG's Work in Progress

Seamus Heaney; songs by Leos Janacek based on 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."

Leos Janacek (1854-1928) was a Czech composer, musicologist, and folklorist who pioneered the adaptation of regional folk tunes into modern musical compositions. His most famous pieces include Jenufa, The Cunning Little Vixen, and his adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's From the House of the Dead.

Ozef Kalda is the pseudonym of Josef Kalda (1871-1921), who was a prolific, genre-crossing writer from the Moravian Wallachia region of the Czech Republic. His best-known works include the novel Ogan [The Lads] and the story collection Jalovinky [Idle Talk].

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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