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, August 3, 2011

Erudition about love (Erudición sobre el amor)

When lecturing Introduction to Law at university, my Dad often invoked the wisdom of classic philosophers. Now he is making me research the Greek Hesiod, Parmenides, Aristophanes and Agatón!

From his book Urgent Poetry (Poesía de urgencia).

Erudition about love (Erudición sobre el amor)

Plato’s Dialogues. Reading of the second edition of The Banquet,
translated by Juan David García Bacca – Caracas – Madrid. Some original text used.
It is necessary to reflect about Love
when you walk along such a short road
where beside it Hatred walks parallel
skirting along the hasty or sluggish footsteps of man.

Although Hesiod defends that Chaos was first,
then the Earth and later Love,
I adhere to Parmenides who defines love
as the first invention.
In Aristophanes I find accurate that that as beings
we are segments of men on our way to the Hades
of a common death.

Agatón thinks that Love nests in the soul of gods and men
and never in the external physical ugliness or beauty,
and that when conceiving wisdom and poetry it enriches beings
Love, tenderness, hunger, dreams for the sorrows!

But Socrates, quoting the wisdom of Biotima
affirms that Love is a diabolic being,
mediocrity between the divine and the human,
alchemist and sophist witch,
Love, because it is the is the genesis of the Good and the Beautiful,
a feeling that the mortal appearance is immortal,
staircase that leads from transitory realities
to one that is not perishable, essentially pure,
the immutable and abstract Beauty.

Love like a strike of light on the eyes
its complex concept
marvellously untranslatable!

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