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 3, 2011

Songs (Canciones)

Did you know? An ‘arcosolium’ is an arched recess used as a place of entombment.  The word is from the Latin arcus, "arch", and solium, "sill" (literally: "place of state").  Also, a ‘fidia’ or Striped Grayling (Hipparchia fidia) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family.  It is found on the Iberian Peninsula and in South-Eastern France and the bordering parts of Italy and North Africa.  Well, there you go.  From my Dad’s book La Tarde Festejada (The celebrated afternoon).

Songs (Canciones)

There is an orchestra
of angelic music
in the mystery of your beauty.

Your mouth,
a flag
of unprecedented

Like delicate flowers
your hands. When you
join them together for prayer
they resemble arcosoliums
or the gothic vaulted arches
of an old cathedral.

In your blood

Fidias will sculpt you
in marble from Mount Pentélico
for an Athenian temple.

Woman, meridian
of the isolated verse,
pastoral poem, beacon-light,
golden island,
high cloud,
for your noble beauty
I would declare you
my undiscovered geography
of the blue dreams.
Your body, clay
fragile and luminous,
silent star
of a perpetual night
in my memory.

1 comment:

  1. Today's piece is very beautiful Andres.. You are amazing x