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).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The contradicted dawn (El alba contradicha)

Over and over I can see in my Dad’s poetry how the night presented him with a blank canvas where he would unavoidably paint the worries of his days and splash these images with the colours of his deepest fears. From his book Boundaries (Confines). 

The contradicted dawn (El alba contradicha)

Every day is the same.
We start with the tiniest bit of light
that invades the discreet blinds.
Perhaps a book made me company in the silent night.
It must have fallen off my hands when
the clock of consciousness stopped talking
late at night and far into insomnia.

Now there is an effusion of light and breeze.
The soul travels through me wholly.
I feel life running across my body.
From the good days of the dew
that woke up early with the gardener
or the insisting plea of the diary
that asks for a verse for the blank page
before my life without a memory
violates the purity of its whiteness.

The world is entered through a hole.
But the diminished echoes of distant infamies
that our eyes do not see
and are realised in the same community
of land and universe
are mixed in the breeze and light.
Contradiction of the dawn. Contrast in the budding day.
The natural shadow in the seed that begins.

The day runs without pause. Slowly
like yesterday the zenith is an instant
of suffocation and it goes away and
now the afternoon suddenly begins.
Toward the shadow colour fades, sky ahead,
in the prelude of the night.

Afterwards it will be ‘the dreams’.
Or simply ‘sleep’.

1 comment: