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, June 13, 2011

Eugenio Sosa

Sometimes very small things remind you of how special someone is to you and how special you are to them. Today, for example, I received two gifts from two amazing friends. Is not what these presents cost, and they didn’t even need to bring anything. It is just that they thought of me when they saw them. Very special friends indeed. Today’s poem, from my Dad’s book Elementary motherland (Patria elemental), is dedicated to Angela and Derek.

Eugenio Sosa

He is not mentioned in history, but Eugenio
must be remembered.

It was around dawn on the emancipating epopee
and in February.

The Liberator assigned Eugenio a task
of glory: That with his merciful childish hands
and the scarce water of the surroundings
he quenched the soldiers’ thirst.

Between cannon-shots and bullets
he made his way riding his donkey
and gave fresh water from the decanters
to the suffocated throats.

Eugenio Sosa the water boy!

Eugenio Sosa the thirst quencher!

Eugenio Sosa the one without history!

Minuscule drop of dew on the dawn
of the epopee!

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