A new work from the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney will be published next year.
RTE reports that the book, a translation of The Aeneid’s Book VI, will be released by publisher Faber & Faber in March 2016.
Heaney, who passed away two years ago at the age of 74, was considered one of Ireland’s best poet since Yeats. His work Death of a Naturalist, published in 1966, was critically acclaimed and won several awards. Some of his most popular works were translations, such as The Testament of Cresseid and Beowulf. In 1995, he was award the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, The Aeneid is an epic Latin poem that tells the story of the Trojan Aeneas. Book VI recounts the hero’s journey to the underworld, where he meets Sibyl, a female oracle, who tells Aeneas he must find the “golden bough” before Charon will ferry him across the river Styx to meet his father.
Heaney’s daughter Catherine said: "Book VI of Virgil’s Aeneid was a touchstone for my father, and one to which he would return time and time again throughout his life. This translation is the result of work and revisions carried out by him over many years – from the 1980s to the month before his death – and the decision to publish it was one our family took after long and careful consideration"
She added " However, given its theme of Aeneas’s search for his father in the afterlife, it would be hard to think of a more poignant way for us to mark the end of our father’s own poetic journey."
According to the publishers, Heaney began translating and publishing passages from the book after the death of his own father in 1986.