Matheus Guménin Barreto: Biography and Poems | Brazilian Poetry

Matheus Guménin Barreto Brazilian Poetry


Matheus Guménin Barreto (1992) is a poet and translator. He is currently a Ph.D. student in German Language and Literature at University of São Paulo (USP), University of Leipzig and University of Salzburg. He published the following collections of poems: A máquina de carregar nadas (2017), Poemas em torno do chão & Primeiros poemas (2018) and Mesmo que seja noite (2020). A new book will be published in 2022. His poems were translated into English, Spanish, German and Catalan. He joined Printemps Littéraire Brésilien 2018 in France and Belgium at the invitation of Sorbonne University. His translation works include poems and prose excerpts from Bertolt Brecht, Elfriede Jelinek, Ingeborg Bachmann, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nelly Sachs, Paul Celan, Peter Waterhouse, Rainer Maria Rilke and others.

The poem “[is it lawful a poem]” (translated by Rubens Chinali) was first published in Contemporary Brazilian Poetry (2020).

Poems to be whispered

And at that night she was alone

like the linen they forgot to weave.

Translated by Caio Cesar Esteves de Souza

Extreme poem

Take in the hand the stone

take in the hand the chair

take in the hand the bread

table ladder glass of water

take it

pull it aside

and uncover the poetry


Translated by Caio Cesar Esteves de Souza


The very touching the things

to remind the hands of the

clean architecture of that

which the world has conceived.

The clean, cartesian, straight hand

through the things

to take the dust off the names

sun, cup, peel, tile, peach, misery

and touch once again

as in the First Day

something in the names

that vibrates.

Translated by Caio Cesar Esteves de Souza

The null poet/m

when hutus slaughtered tutsis

when hutus slaughtered tutsis

when hutus slaughtered tutsis

when tutsis slaughtered tutsis


and when the poet writes

[when tutsis slaughtered tutsis



for the peccancy for the pecc-



peccancy of not knowing what are tutsis

tutsis what are they

what are tutsis

who are





and look for where is Rwanda

Rwanda ¿

and weeps for not knowing where it is

where is it 

slaughtered tutsis


- most of them struck by machetes. 

Translated by Caio Cesar Esteves de Souza

[is it lawful a poem]

is it lawful a poem where echo the footsteps

of a single man or of his shadow the footsteps?

is it lawful a poem of some bare, clean feet on an

even cleaner courtyard? lawful

that water not yet convex from touches or

mirrored faces other than a single face, that this water


echoes, footsteps, shadows, bare feet, touches?

is it lawful that there is? is it lawful that there is such a rare word:


is it lawful that there is what is there in verses

like these if shootings pierce the skin of a mother of a father of a child and of one who wasn't 
born and won't be born in some dark corner of this country that I don't even deign 
to know while I write a poem about writing a poem about a .38 caliber revolver that 
decides to cancel time?

Translated by Rubens Chinali

Canis lupus familiaris

you fucking pain in the ass

barking at dead of night in pursuit of a face 

you will not find your face

neither today nor tomorrow



Translated by Matheus Guménin Barreto