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).

Friday, January 14, 2011

The gardener’s lesson (Lección del jardinero)

Here is one to all of you out there who love your garden.  Finally, it seems like the sun is out.  Enjoy the weekend and may your plants enjoy you.  From my Dad’s book Under the shadow (Sombrabajo). 
The gardener’s lesson (Lección del jardinero)
The gardener looks for a way
to extract the rose without hurting her.
In his journal he includes what he offers of himself,
to do a good job and to give a little tenderness.
I have seen him under the sun during his working day,
quiet, active, armed with scissors,
stripping off the excess from
the bunch  dressed up with colours and perfume.
He has told me that the thorn does not hurt him,
that in occasions he clashes with the thorn.
That when the skin brushes the sharp edge
he knows that his skill has mistaken,
that he has forgotten the path to reach the rose,
the path to extract the rose without hurting her.  

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