Why do this?

My father, José Luis Villamizar Melo, passed away in my home town of Cúcuta, Colombia, in August last year. The law and economics were Dad's profession, but literature, history and academia his passion. He wrote and published several books, articles and book chapters. The thing is that so many people have missed out on his work, particularly on his beautiful poetry, which he wrote in Spanish prior to the world wide web. So I thought, what a better way to keep Dad's legacy alive than to bring his writing beyond his world and share it with mine. That is why I am translating over 250 of my Dad's poems to English and publishing them here, one a day, Monday to Friday during 2011 (Dad, a family man, always believed that you shouldn't work on weekends).

Monday, January 31, 2011

Back to the same things (Vuelta a las cosas)

Here is another of my Dad’s deep examinations of the mundane, how things work, their place in life and what they mean to us.  From his book Under the shadow (Sombrabajo).

Back to the same things (Vuelta a las cosas)

We always return somehow to where
things suggested their
vocation to be permanent,
to be, to be there, to show
as men leave their footprint, that they make up
nature’s laboratory
where the magic chisel of the overpowering lustre
sculpts in our memory what we then call simply
“the remembrance of things”.

There are many ways to return
even by forgetting one’s path and directions.
It is perhaps enough to find an image that we capture
to feel again the hasty rhythm of one’s pulse
which was there during the primal knowledge
of our beloved things and the others, those sad things
that fed the ashes
never extinguished from the usual melancholy
of the daily urgencies.

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