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).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh joyful misfortune (Oh jubilosa desventura)

This one is dedicated to those who have found their soul mate, their true love.  It is a little reminder that with all that love also come those little bits that although not so much fun to deal with, are part of life with that joyful misfortune.  From my Dad’s book Urgent poetry (Poesía de urgencia).

Oh joyful misfortune (Oh jubilosa desventura)

To get to you I would not have written a poem,
it would have been enough for me
to remain a loner in my vessel
looking into the infinity of your eyes.

And nevertheless I put here this rite
of love, like a sudden blaze of fire,
so my sorrow burns in it, and in the altar
of your soul be ashes of my cry.

It was not enough to spend a day’s journey
from sun to sun, looking for the imprecise
line where your tenderness blossoms.

This sonnet originates from my nothingness
to sing to you in humble plenitude
my sweet and joyful Misfortune!


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