Haloes- Xosé María Díaz Castro

If it’s true a poem is just a halo of light
That blind eyes dress things up in-
Things dreamt or loved in the darkness-
Things that once were then went
But still are and now never go,
Shadows that, playing with my eyes,
Were grafted as light into my life,
Then I am leaving haloes here like ashes
Of roses that once filled with perfume
Some dream world that died young.

Xosé María Díaz Castro (Guitiriz, 1914- Lugo, 1990) is one of the most representative of Galician post-war poets.  He is one of a group of poets who were educated at the Seminary in Mondoñedo, which deserves investigation as a school of lyrical poetry.

His collection Nimbos, of which this is the title poem, was published in 1961 and has since then been considered one of the classics of twentieth-century Galician literature.


About Jason Preater

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5 Responses to Haloes- Xosé María Díaz Castro

  1. C. Brewster says:

    I have been unable to find the original Haloes in Galician, do you have a copy you might be able to share with me, or share what collection in might be in? Thank you!


    • I have a copy at home but I will not be back there until two weeks from now. When I get there I will send you a copy. Thanks for your interest in my blog!


      • C. Brewster says:

        Okay, great, thanks! Yeah, I’ve been getting into reading a bit more of Diaz Castro lately because it is his year for the Letras Galegas, to celebrate a particular Galician poet. I work in a school here and we’re doing a project with the English versions of the poems, but you were the only one I had found that had attempted to translate any of his work. Many props in your work towards making these brilliant men more accessible to the rest of the world. If you ever do a version of “Like a River”, or “Coma un rio”, please let me know as I would love to read it…from what I’ve read of it in my and my Spanish teacher counterpart’s shoddy translation, I bet it is absolutely stunning in it’s true verse. Keep up the good work and when you get back home in a couple weeks, I’d be very much obliged if you wouldn’t mind taking the time to send me that original version. cbrewsterinc@gmail.com. Thanks again!


      • Here is the title poem of Nimbos for you:

        SI é que o poema é só un nimbo de lus
        que os ollos cegos póñenlles ás cousas
        soñadas, ou amadas nas teebras,

        das cousas que xa foron e se foron
        pro siguen sendo o non se van xa máis,
        das sombras que, xogando cos meus ollos,
        na miña vida en lume se enxeriron,

        eu deixo equí os nimbos, coma cinza
        de rosas que onte encheron de perfume
        o mundo, morte xove, dalgún soño.

        Tell me a bit more about your project. I’d be interested.


      • chiefcunningwolfe says:

        Thanks a bunch! Sorry for the late reply, but I was busy whipping this whipper-snappers into shape. The project itself was just having the kids in my English classes memorize a verse of a Diaz Castro poem (depending on the age, some had to learn more than just one verse, they’re mostly primary school kids though). We performed on Friday at school even though La Dia de Las Letras Gallegas was on Saturday (being the translator you are, I don’t need to tell you about the history of poets de puta madre they have here in Galiza and how good they are at celebrating anything they put their minds too :D). It went awesomely and all the kids did great. Thank you very much for your help and best of luck continuing your work.


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