This volume brings together, for the first time in English translation, all three books of poetry by this author, two of them published in his lifetime (Poems 1981/1991 and Last Poetry of Love and Illness 1992-1995) and one posthumously (Poems for a Skylark). Like any true poet, Lois Pereiro lived on the edge, between cultures, spending time outside his native Galicia in Madrid, learning foreign languages, travelling as much as he could. He was also the victim of toxic oil syndrome at an early age, which was followed by a heroin addiction and the contraction of AIDS. He died at 38, having been forced to write “with delicacy in a Pandora’s box of pain”.


That night
I took the hand by the cold of the fingers
and ran it gently over my lips
wanting to find the signs
of the last aborted cries
when even blood didn’t remember
the joy of marble
under tickling fear

Why, love?

All was quiet…


Corporal (Je T’Aime…)

The mouth’s fury, teeth:
the arms of passion
which explore and profane the intact skin

Luxurious flesh
love injects

The cold congealed on hand and wound
tingles in rebellion
forms a scar
between the possible breasts
of another triumph

Every three seconds then
two eyelids lubricate
the hostile eyes that don’t believe.


Poem for P. Thirty-One Years on the Way to Heaven

If death is a necessary incident
which penetrates me silent without fury
treacherous and uniformly cruel
with the sweat created at nights by the failure
of a body that knows its dominions
conquered by the ongoing
offence of facts.
And so the fear I no longer feel for you
will excuse my defeat.



What can I offer the one who attempts me?
Numbered days of inert passion
and eternal love always shared
with the debt owing to an existence
redeemed for usurious payments
conjugating the verbs “live” and “love”
in the first person plural
reduced to the forms of the present.

What can I offer the one who attempts me
if I’m a loose thread of the hope
Penelope weaves
and unweaves?



Sleepless nights like damp sheets
in the circumvolutions of my brain
hung out in the wind of danger
eruption and eternal combustion
of another desired skin that would burn
in the flames its vision ignited.

Year after year I am a nest for
migratory birds
seeking warmer climates
in forced exile for the winter
conquered unarmed and captive
their wounded hearts perplexed
which pain tinges with a cold hatred.

One season in hell, another in
the temporarily pleasant, clear sky,
and at the end the sad pulchritude
of another dress rehearsal for the big sleep.


Translated from Galician by Jonathan Dunne

Additional Info

  • purchase text:

    COLLECTED POEMS by Lois Pereiro, the first in the series Galician Classics devoted to classics of Galician literature in English translation, is available for purchase through your local or online bookshop

    Barnes & Noble

    Book Depository


    ISBN: 978-954-384-069-4

    Publication Date: 17 May 2011 (29 June 2017)

    Language: English

    Paperback: 192 pages

    Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm