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, October 5, 2011

Elegy 1: First of October 1996 (Elegía 1: Primero de Octubre de 1997)

Juan Manuel diffused in the light (final)

About a year passed since the death of Santiago. Nevertheless, after losing her third son, my sister still had the hope of new life. In order to make sure she could complete her family again she went as far as searching for the best obstetrician and gynaecologist in town, in addition to her continuous effort to get her inner strength back. When she told us she was pregnant again we were very happy for her, but this time a little cautious not to let our hopes get too high.

My niece María Juliana was born on the 10th of November 1997, a beautiful and healthy girl, who brought joy back to my sister’s life.

Two years later, from my Dad’s book The celebrated afternoon (La tarde festejada). To my beloved sister Nana and my gorgeous niece Juli.

Elegy 1: First of October 1996 (Elegía 1: Primero de Octubre de 1997)

Like if the bones that we buried
had sprouted
and the stems grew inside each of us,
we felt him like a leafy bonsai,
rich, full of shade
and fruit and chirps at the edge of the afternoon
and in the first light of dawn.
Now he is above the eventualities of our world.
Neither time, nor rain or sun
can touch his identity.
Now there are no tears
to cry him, only space
and time to remember him.
He will always be the way he was,
our little loving boy,
pure and luminous and abstract,
perpetual in the immaterial shape
that he took
when he entered eternity.

To Sergio Alberto
Yáñez Ramírez.

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