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, March 31, 2011

Carranza (Carranza)

My father loved the poetry of Eduardo Carranza, a Colombian author who led the National Library of Colombia and died in the mid 80s.  Here is how Dad expressed his admiration.  From his book Boundaries (Confines). 

Carranza (Carranza)
“I do not inhabit my body
which for so many years
was my residence”

You are Eduardo
a man
without reference of time
and the same whether
present or absent.

Just a poet, and how much that is!

A man
who loved and sang
about things of the fatherland
and in whose word
it was diluted
in the freshness of its sweet name,
in the heat of its plains,
in the freshly blossomed rose,
in the centenary trees,
in the maternal rivers,
in the seas that dilate it,
in the gardens,
and in the wind
and in the wine
and in the party girls
that you sang for,
in the hope that one day
you could see joy walking around town,
in the city that you loved
and in the countryside,
life under noble flags
summarized in a transparent verse
made of burning sun
and summer flowers.

beyond death!

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