This treatise seeks to examine the similarities and differences between Rilke Songs and Neruda Songs, two sets by American composer Peter Lieberson. This will be done by comparing different elements, including text setting, harmonic language, instrumentation, etc. It includes a brief biography of the composer and his wife as well a translation of all texts and a brief biography of the poets. Peter Lieberson met and fell in love with his second wife, mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (1954-2006), during a production of his opera Ashoka’s Dream. They were married in 1999. Over the course of their marriage, Lieberson wrote two song cycles with his wife’s voice in mind, the first of which is entitled Rilke Songs and premiered in 2001. The texts are all from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Die Sonnete an Orpheus (Sonnets to Orpheus), the mythological musician demi-god who attempted to save his wife Eurydice from death. The second cycle, Neruda Songs (2005), contains five songs with Spanish texts by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Each song portrays love in a different phase, from the initial romance to the final farewell. Just a year after these songs were premiered, Lorraine died of breast cancer, making these songs especially poignant. Though these two cycles were written only four years apart, they are decidedly dissimilar. Neruda Songs exhibits a sweeping lyricism and an intense sense of urgency, while Rilke Songs has more disjunct melodies and a contemplative atmosphere. The primary reason for this difference is surely the text. In the Hal Leonard publication of Rilke Songs, Lieberson writes that he considers these five songs “love songs even though the poems themselves are not overtly about love.” However, no matter Lieberson’s intentions, Rilke’s texts simply do not contain the passion and fervor of Neruda’s. As a result, the two song cycles show two very different sides of love, one of which is staid, thoughtful, and profound, the other of which is intense, ardent, and fiery.