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).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The cobblestones (Los empedrados)

From my Dad’s book Elementary motherland (Patria elemental).  Enjoy.

The cobblestones (Los empedrados)

Through the memory of the cracks the
grandparents wanted the streets to be strong
just as they are musical, and stole the
stone from the river to sow it in their
urban roads lined with almond trees.

The horses stepped on hard
tracks and their rhythmical step
was even martial.

Our grandparents made it: sun and
stone under the ardent blues of the perpetual summer,
and the coolness at the beach under the conspiracy of breeze and
rain together.

The asphalt silenced the voices of the musical hoofs,
broke the light in which they glistened
sparkling and noble.  Another harmony
replaced the primitive one, the imperceptible,
mute to the secrets of the beauty of the souls
that belongs to survivors.

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