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).

Monday, September 5, 2011

The abolished days (Los días abolidos)

This is the predecessor poem to last Friday’s ‘The house belonged to my father’. I hope my friends with children out there had a lovely Father’s Day!

From my Dad’s book Twilight theory (Teoría del crepúsculo).

The abolished days (Los días abolidos)

The old man built the house with his own hands.
He put one on top of the other the blocks of clay
following an imaginary design that only he knew.
When he finished his craftsmanship an oblique sun decorated
the large terrace where the birds used to see the dusk.

Then he started living each corner and
he used to say that it was his shadow
for his children and his wife.

Hurricane winds destroyed the house
with the gardens and the fountains and the vespertine shelter
for the passerby birds.

The old man forgot the art of placing
the blocks of clay and now he says that the shadow
of his shadow is the only thing he has left in this world.

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