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).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Life that escapes me inevitably (La vida que se me acorta sin remedio)

Life is a beautiful, short, sudden little thing.  From my Dad’s book Urgent poetry (Poesía de urgencia). 

Life that escapes me inevitably (La vida que se me acorta sin remedio)

Suddenly the city restarts.
The neighbourhood’s bells know it
and they strum tireless from dawn.
The recollection of the last hours moves me.
Perhaps these are the longest in time measures.
The previous day is rebuilt or the new day is built
with swift images that are almost inapprehensible. 
The resonant joy of dawn
invades all corners of the house
and the backyard emerges into the light
or the light penetrates it.
With it the new daily lightning
of the dew and the flowers and the birds.

And still the solitude, and the sadness
of the irrecoverable minute.  The night that  
every day we leave forever!

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