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, May 31, 2011

Good morning Mr Eduardo (Buenos días Don Eduardo)

Eduardo Carranza (1913 - 1985) was a Colombian poet, journalist, university professor and diplomat. He was the precursor of the movement ‘Stone and Sky’. He promoted several cultural publications and he directed with major success the National Library. His poetry addressed three fundamental issues: his motherland, death and love. Dad wrote this poem in Carranza’s honour on May 13, 1974. From his book Commemorations (Conmemoraciones) on the last day of autumn.

Good morning Mr Eduardo (Buenos días Don Eduardo)

Here everything is fugacious like the breeze
of this May of winds and flowers.
The word rambles and spreads
but it goes away, life runs fast.
Those of us who say things are an echo
that survives distant days
though we insist and Earth listens to us.

You arrive and find under the palm trees
the same stream of water, the lavatory,
the mango trees with plenty of ripen fruit,
people passing hurriedly on the streets
and the news already door to door:
Eduardo Carranza has arrived with his garden
in perpetual harvest of songs.

The dry valley, the hill, the river,
will collect your verse in love
and will dress their silence for a party.

The shadow of the familiar almond trees
will shelter the rumouring flock
that your persistent flute brings to pasture.
You will see passing under the eaves
of your poetry of fresh geometry,
summer girls who imprison
in their eyes the sun of the lambs.

You will not be the forgotten anymore!

Cúcuta, May 31/74

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