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).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dreams are forbidden (Prohibidos los sueños)

From my Dad’s book Urgent poetry (Poesía de urgencia). 

Dreams are forbidden (Prohibidos los sueños)

I used to know how to express,
when, back then, I understood better what I still know
although under different signs,
the dreams that would make twenty years disappear
when I saw, for instance, the splendour of your beauty.

Now, in front of you, augural and radiant,
I go over my words and find them different.
My ideas colonise you, not my feelings anymore.
Ideas that are inspired by your eyes, your skin, your delicate feet,
your voice, your sex, your lips, your stature,
your scent, your hands, your dignity, all of you.

Nevertheless, I cannot write like I did
twenty or more years ago,
because I see the twilight grow in our daughters
and I do not conceive dreams about stars
in distant galaxies and foreign paradises.

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