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).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The telephone (El teléfono)

I found tonight this lovely poem from my Dad’s book Urgent Poetry (Poesía de urgencia), evocative of exciting new love, of futile moments and transient words, butterflies in the stomach and stolen kisses. To my beloved in Sweden.

The telephone (El teléfono)

There were no good mornings,
nor conventional greetings, love used to flow
in this tongue without complications
that is mutual language of lovers.

It was your voice, excited and unhurried.

To each idea the perfect word
cut to the edge of trust.

The things that you used to say
were always the same beautiful things
that occupied the candour of illusory dreams,
the time when we met, for example,
the place you were walking by,
the excitement of “should I say something?”
and the certainty of the love that you used to repeat
in a taciturn goodbye cut short.

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