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, July 27, 2011

The size of the shadows (Medida de las sombras)


The differences between Bolívar and Santander certainly intrigued my Father. From his book Variations for an epopee (Variaciones para una epopeya).

The size of the shadows (Medida de las sombras)

In you Bolívar found a confidant
and with him you defended
one single flag.
With the power and command you shared
and in golden rooms you suffered
the temptation of the same beauty.

Then when the ensign was placed
on the highest hill
and an independent nation was consolidated,
free and lasting,
you were the voice,
you were the character,
you were the General who spoke to the General
the statesman who disagreed with the statesman,
the Hero who measured his shadow with the Hero’s shadow,
the Civil Genius who listened to the enigma of the GENIUS.
The Divine Providence could not make a mistake
and the Holy Spirit of the Motherland
enlightened the Liberator,
so History could not be written:

SANTANDER was burnt alive
in the crepuscular flames
of the Genius’ Glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment