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 8, 2011

San Luis, town of Cúcuta (San Luis, pueblo de Cúcuta)

Here is another piece of the story about how my home town came to be. From my Dad’s book Elementary motherland (Patria elemental).

San Luis, town of Cúcuta (San Luis, pueblo de Cúcuta)

Long time ago, when the streets did not exist
and the whirlwind in which we travel
was, still virgin, the country estate of
Mrs Juana Rangel de Cuéllar,
there was a minuscule town by a river
sumptuous with rich cocoa orchards and fertile lands.

There lived the grandparents. A tribe Chief
wise and romantic. And an original town
through which arteries ran a little European blood,
the mix of the creative mess of the Conquest
projected to the Colony.

The old indigenous shelter
was settled there, still, under the shade
of its own humble trees.

THE TOWN OF CÚCUTA is the root
of the illustrious city.

It grew and expanded little
by little, holding the hand of time.

The breeze and the wind rocked
the palm trees, while its life
and its own soul transformed.

Until it concentrated one day around
where the Hero is raised in bronze,
upright, severe, provocative,
abundant of hope and faith in freedom.

And the durability of
THE TOWN OF CÚCUTA was transformed into a city.

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