Poems From The Portuguese
Browse by Category

Rui Pires Cabral

(B. 1967)

It is no overstatement to say that Rui Pires Cabral is the author of some of the most beautiful Portuguese poems written in the last decade. Starting often from small everyday themes, his poetry reaches an unusual lyrical intensity by evoking a fluid and hidden geography capable of wandering through cities, memories or songs. He has a voice very much his own – a concise writing in which melancholy, uncertainty and irony achieve a balance that produces rare images and surprising effects.

Rui Pires Cabral was born in Macedo de Cavaleiros, a small town in north east Portugal. He read History and Archaeology at Porto University. He lives in Lisbon and works mainly as a translator.

Poetry books since 2000:

Praças e Quintais (2003), Longe da Aldeia (2005), Capitais da Solidão (2006), Oráculos de Cabeceira (2009), A Super-Realidade (2011), Ladrador Antologia (2012)



24 Setembro, 2018By bitcliq

No train will take us
this far: a dead city
still alive in a rare song.
Listen to its teaching words
and to all the things it shows
yet again: the night, the return
to the borrowed room,
the book-stuffed basements
of Charing Cross Road
and the weather outside
so cold.

read more


foreign to your forthright manner, dull
for your senses.
Stopping the car in some dead end place,
we’d burn the words’ fuse
till reaching the desert where we held hands.
Outside, reality was the entire space
spread on the windows, the world
plummeting into silence.
Time was spent very fast, as we got lost
in our only map,
no sign of change on the way back.

read more


Truncated, undefined, short
stories of carnal love pass
in the mind like silent
movies. The nightly swollen river
always spreads over the salty flat
afternoon: January flakes the paint
off walls, into the streets we take
a more sullen face and then down
the frozen food aisle, we can’t tell
what we feel beyond the cold that
imprisons all things: we walk alone

read more


In the afternoon I sit in the park
where the elm trees shelter blackbirds
and drop seeds on the barren
tarmac paths.
It’s my first sunday without you,
the same as any other sunday:
empty streets, darkly shuttered
shop windows, a hushed world of
temporarily absent neighbours.
I stay out here in the cold for a while,
distracted by the futile fancy of being
the next stranger to cross
the street, of not even having the protection
of a name.
And, all of a sudden, she’s back
after months of idleness in no fixed
abode: I summoned the bitter shadow
that whispers in my ear.
Yes, here she is, steep
and thirsty.

read more


In the shop window one reads Rare
and Second Hand Books underneath
the awning’s tilted blue – right opposite
stands the frosty franchise coffeeshop
where days mistreat desire
and smoking is not allowed. I climb
up to the small cubby-holes
dunked in the sweet staleness
of literature and run my eyes from A
to Z along the slender, chipped

read more