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 5, 2011

You will return with the Wind (Volverás con el Viento)

Early this morning my dear friend Crystal Corman flew back to Kuala Lumpur, where she is doing a research fellowship investigating women in Islam.   After spending a week together seeing her go was as sad as farewelling one of my sisters.  We met nearly ten years ago during Orientation at Monash.  Back then I still wouldn’t get why Aussies would say “Goodday in the evening” or why they asked you “how you are going” when clearly you were not going anywhere.  I heard Crystal speak and immediately recognised the only accent I knew in English.  So I said to her: “You are American, right? Can I hang out with you? You are the only person I understand”.  We’ve been very close to each other’s heart since.  This poem is to Crystal, from my Dad’s book The celebrated afternoon (La Tarde Festejada).  
You will return with the Wind (Volverás con el Viento)
May your beauty receive and keep
in a magic jewel box a simple gift,
the Wind that was given to you,
that flirts with your hair,
that soothes your eyes and scatters your name.
The Wind that lays at your feet
like the flying carpet in one’s dreams.
You will travel in the breeze that  the Wind moves.
The Sea and the Wind together will be with you
by the shore of time.
The Wind will divulge your name
and will sing it in perpetual breeze.
You will return with the Wind
that is impregnated with your scent
and your blue voice will fall over the red lawns of the afternoon
that will learn to say your name.


  1. Wow... the sensuousness of your father's subtle words. It's beautiful!

  2. "The Wind will divulge your name
    and will sing it in perpetual breeze"

    To me, these lines reflect the way love can feel both personal and universal at the same time.

    I had an image of the wind whispering a name into someone's ear and then that whisper spreading out on a breeze across the world.

  3. This is lovely, Andres. Thank you for thinking of me as you read (and translate) your father's words. I find it interesting that the image of wind is used, because wind often evokes strong responses from me. When I feel the wind play with my hair, may I be reminded that same breeze may have traveled the distance from you to me, just to say hello.

    Sending my love.