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, June 1, 2011

Death amongst my things (La muerte entre mis cosas)

From my Dad’s book Urgent poetry (Poesía de urgencia) on a very cold first day of winter.

Death amongst my things (La muerte entre mis cosas)

Now I try to be by myself.
It’s been ages since I found myself. Many things
have happened in my life and nevertheless
time was dedicated to others.
It seems as if I had escaped from myself.

I think. Think about myself. And I pray
for so many things forever gone.
Even the things I enjoyed, those that one day
I mentioned as if they were property of mine
and I realised when I loved them the most
that they were perishable and that they really were.

I recognise myself. More than half way
to the terminus and close to it without knowing how much.
I speak about Death like something that belongs to others,
I, who have seen it do its thing to my friends.
Now that I am by myself,
I find it hidden away amongst my things.

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