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).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I, clay from the ground (Yo, barro de tierra)

From my Dad’s book La Tarde Festejada (The celebrated afternoon):
I, clay from the ground (Yo, barro de tierra)
I, clay, feel your soft hands
feel the warmth of your hands,
feel the wise craftsmanship of your hands
that seem to play the same way
children play with the moist sand
on the beaches.  But you do more,
you have given me shape, for I am now a tumbler
It does not matter! I am still trembling
although my core now awaits
for the water that will fill me.
Your hands pamper the incipient figure
but there will be fire to burn me;
and when I come out of the purifying temperature,
I will have a new everlasting form
even though I will still be fragile.
Joy! Joy to be product
of your hands!
I might break but, when I do,
I will return to the primitive values
you used  to shape me
and which are your possession.
If I remain in your hands
my shape will occupy a place
in Creation.

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