The Silver Sword
The Silver Sword is a novel by Ian Serraillier, published in 1956, which tells of the search of three Polish children for their mother and father after the Second World War. During that war, the family became separated, and the father met an orphaned boy, Jan. He gave him the little silver sword, in the hope that Jan might chance upon his son and two daughters and could inform them that he was heading for Switzerland. Jan did encounter them and joined them in their quest, the silver sword inspiring them all to persevere, whatever the obstacles. The book ends with the new beginning they experienced in the first purpose-built international children’s village in the Swiss canton of Appenzell. This tone poem draws its material from incidental music composed in 1983 for Stuart Henson’s dramatic version of the novel, but it is intended to capture the mixture of struggle and hope embodied in Seraillier’s work, rather than to depict particular events of the narrative.