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).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Potter of mothelands: Song to The Liberator – Part 4 (Alfarero de patrias: Canto al Libertador – Parte 4)

Part 4

Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios Ponte y Blanco, commonly known as Simón Bolívar (July 24, 1783, Caracas, Venezuela – December 17, 1830, Santa Marta, Colombia) was a Venezuelan military and political leader. Together with José de San Martín, he played a key role in Hispanic-Spanish America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire, and is today considered one of the most influential politicians in Latin American history.

Following the triumph over the Spanish Monarchy, Bolívar participated in the foundation of the first union of independent nations in Hispanic-America, a republic, which was named Gran Colombia, and of which he was president from 1819 to 1830. Bolívar remains regarded in Hispanic-America as a hero, visionary, revolutionary, and liberator. During his lifetime, he led Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia to independence, and helped lay the foundations for democratic ideology in much of Latin America.

Reaching out to Colombians out there to help me celebrate my father’s Song to the Liberator. A great admirer of Simón Bolívar, Dad wrote Motherland potter in 1989 and published it as a booklet, sponsored by the Institute of Culture of Norte de Santander and the Municipal Centre of Cúcuta. I have divided the long poem in four parts for the reader to digest and enjoy slowly…and also to keep the suspense.

Potter of mothelands: Song to The Liberator – Part 4 (Alfarero de patrias: Canto al Libertador – Parte 4)

In the silence
broken by the incessant blow
of the sea
I can hear your voice
that is born in the roots
of boredom
and penetrates the light
of the early afternoon.

Your voice is slow,
musical, faint,
but there is still determination
in your words.
In occasions
you talk
to yourself,
and you become tenderness
when you pronounce
or when your gaze
or your hand
reach out
to dictate to the scrivener
the final good byes
beyond the shadows
that gather
in the depth
of your soul.

to your ranch
reaches the voice
of the people
who listened
to your cry
like a trumpet
singing victory.

You are not alone!
you live in the hope
of the people without a roof,
with no bread,
with no joy,
in the men with no land,
and in the bloodstained land
of the men,
in the injustice
and in death.

For your dream
there is so much plenitude,
so much laurel,
so many stars
on the poles
of all the flags,
that are being born now
and from always
among intact lights
in the purest Glory,
that you created
when from the gallop of a horse
you designed the nations
of your America,
in the name of your name,
Immortal Father!

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