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 31, 2011

Valley of Cúcuta 1 (Valle de Cúcuta 1)

A poem to Cúcuta, my home city with a never-ending summer, surrounded by mountains, populated by almost one million people and Colombia’s most important port of commercial exchange with Venezuela.

From my Dad’s book The celebrated afternoon (La tarde festejada).

Valley of Cúcuta 1 (Valle de Cúcuta 1)

The light that floods the valley
under the summery suns.
The merciful breeze
that arrives in the afternoons.
The old lightening
of Tasajero.
The nostalgia of the universe
that travels on an unknown railroad
beyond the fraternal line.
The daytime shadows
sleepy on the streets
under the treetops.
The thread of silver
and of silence of the river.
The memory of the re-builders
in the nearby reservoirs
of Oblivion and Glory.

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