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 21, 2011

Memory (Memoria)

Photo of the monument to Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander,
taken by Hector Javier Cespedes Zapata http://www.flickr.com/photos/ectorzapata/4969469188/

Here is another reference to the Independence heroes of my country, Francisco de Paula Santander and Simón Bolívar. From my Dad’s book Variations for an epopee (Variaciones para una epopeya).
Memory (Memoria)

To the bronze that the artist smelted
time will give a guiding polish,
and the cardinal points
that gave you the dimensions of symbol
in front of the vocation of a subjugated town,
commander sometimes
and convict with shackles and jail keepers in other occasions,
in exile and magistracy,
and before in the freezing silence of the Andes
leader of a peasant army
toward the nameless freedom
that your juvenile dreams foresaw.

The Motherland was your objective.
And you started to feel it in the half-lit shelter
of the ancestral house,
with an open code…Student of the laws
you understood which was your path.

And it was your encounter
with Mr Simón Bolívar
fiery sparkle
that had to start the fire.

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