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).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memory (Memoria)

Early this morning I attended a work meeting in which every participant was asked to introduce themselves, talk a little about the role they played within the team and mention something ‘interesting’ about their personal lives. The first thing that came to my mind was my Dad’s poetry and the blog, my mission for 2011. Then I had colleagues asking me to send them the link so they could read it…and I realised that for someone who talks as much as I do I haven’t been that good at promoting my Dad’s poetry. Would you help me? If you are reading this, could you please forward the link to your dearest friends? Even better, try and register as a follower I you have not done so. Cheers!

Now, tonight’s poem from his book The celebrated afternoon (La tarde festejada) refers to a side of Dad that I hardly every saw. The severe one. Being the youngest of his five children I suppose I got him pretty relaxed, so I got to spend so much quality time with him and enjoyed his company all to myself. But boy, do I remember him and my brother José Luis having heated arguments, fighting and screaming at the top of their lungs!

Memory (Memoria)

My father
who was a basic man,
honourable, pure,
used to put on a severe voice
when he wanted to show us the roads,
discover horizons,
illustrate us how life
really was.
And we felt him distant, rough,
demanding and sharp,
too much weight on
our incipient wings.

Late and only now I understand
how his heart, in every second,
was filled with tenderness.

To my son José Luis
Villamizar Maldonado

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