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, July 28, 2011

The glow of dawn (Brillo del crepúsculo)

                                   Simón Bolívar, hero of the Independence of Colombia

Poem 150. From my Dad’s book Variations for an epopee (Variaciones para una epopeya). 

The glow of dawn (Brillo del crepúsculo)

The light diffuses
in the crepuscular horizon.
In the dying sun your shadow seems
subject to a Council of high distinction
just, of unfading rectitude,
your shadow like the messengers of the night
in the spots of light of the stars.
Yes: in your hands History constructed
the brilliant conception of Bolívar.
Master in the science of the Law
and slave of the law,
you moulded the theory of the Motherland,
dreamt by the Genius of America;
you made it kind, generous, proud;
and in it each of its children
learnt the lesson of love and heroism.

You accomplished a mission, that is your glory.
Great was the adventure of your life.
You suffered, fought, conquering sometimes,
other times defeated and beat,
your fight was the fight of the Motherland
incarnated in the sign of your name.

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