Maria do Cebreiro

[What we feel]


What we feel

lies beyond the trees.

Music does not save us, nor does land condemn us.

No star hears it,

no fable passes it on.

There is no image to translate us.


We are a chorus without a tragedy.

We are life without death. We are not death.


When the sun becomes a circle of flame.

When threads no longer fall from our clothes,

crumbs from our table, sweat from our brow.

When the universe understands

that we will manage to hold it back

as a detonation holds air in suspension.

When our shadow spreads over the land

like a stormtrain across the desert.


We belong to the world

like two blades that together make a scissor.

We belong to time

like a sheep belongs to the hand that shears it,

leaves it naked.


We are neither brute force nor roots.

We are neither the hawk nor the mole.


We are love’s ending, but we are sex.

We are hunger, but we are bread.


Our voice is not for you to give.

Our body is not for you to embrace.

No one crushed our dreams

because we never dreamt.

No one trampled our lives,

because we never had a place to lie.


You call our passion for the truth: violence.


There is no wound without blood, nor time without history.

But it is not in order to enter

that we beat at the doors of the world.

We beat at the doors of the world

so that it will not sleep.



Translated by Neil D. Anderson

“What we feel” is from Os inocentes [The Innocents] (Editorial Galaxia, 2014).


You can read and listen to the poem in the original Galician here