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).
José Luis Villamizar Melo was born on the 17th of February 1931 in the small town of San Cayetano, near Cúcuta, Colombia’s closest city to Venezuela in the state of Norte de Santander. After completing primary and secondary school in Cornejo, Cúcuta and Pamplona he moved to the capital city of Bogotá and graduated in Law and Economics at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
Villamizar Melo was an exceptional lawyer and a respected university academic. However, his friends knew him as 'El Poeta' (The Poet), a passionate writer and historian. He was the President of the Academy of History of Norte de Santander, founder of The Bolivarian Society of Cúcuta and member of The Academy of History of Colombia, The Colombian Academy of Letters and Philosophy, The College of Lawyers of Norte de Santander, The Writers Association of Norte de Santander and The Hispanic American Academy of Letters and Science.
After nine years of a progressively debilitating health due to a stroke, José Luis passed away on the 17th of August 2010. He was married for 50 years to Luzmyla Maldonado Ruíz and was the father of María Dianaluz, Liliana Cecilia, María Rocío, José Luis Jr and Andrés Gabriel, grandfather of René Francisco, Juan Camilo, Sergio Andrés, Diego Fernando, Juan Manuel, Estefanía, José Manuel and Maria Juliana and great grandfather of Sofía.
You'll always be in our hearts Dad.