A Poem by Mystic Poet Yuan Hongri
Translated by Manu Mangattu
About the Poet
Yuan Hongri (born 1962) is a renowned Chinese mystic, poet, and philosopher. His work has been published in the UK, USA, India, New Zealand, Canada, and Nigeria; his poems have appeared in Poet’s Espresso Review, Orbis, Tipton Poetry Journal, Harbinger Asylum, The Stray Branch, Acumen, Pinyon Review, Taj Mahal Review, Madswirl, Shot Glass Journal, Amethyst Review, Fine Lines, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals. His best known works are “Platinum City” and “Golden Giant”. His works explore themes of prehistoric and future civilization.
Ah! Of iridescent gems of time
The heavenly road you paved light！
In a kingdom of stars,
I found my home.
In the golden cities,
I opened the gates of the city to the sun,
To behold the godly giants!
At the royal palace of the jewel
I read of prehistoric wonderful poems
The enormous, gorgeous ancient books!
Carved with the golden words
The wondrous strange mystery tales,
Made my eyes drunken!
I walked into the full new universes,
And saw the holy kingdoms:
Even before the earth was born
The erstwhile home of human history!
Across Time and Space in crystalline glitter
Stands this moment a platinum city –
The spaceships drifting leisurely,
Like the birds, resplendent in variegated hues.
In the crystal garden I saw
A crowd of youthful giants,
Their eyes were bright and glittering
In the aura of the body sparkle..
They sang happy songs
They danced a wonderful dance
Lanky boys and girls in pairs
As if to celebrate the splendid carnival!
I saw a circular edifice
High above the city
Giving out white-bright lightning
Raised ground to fly into the quiet space!
A frame of platinum edifice
Creating a beautiful pattern
The whole city is a circle
Arranged into a fine structure!
Into a bright hall I went.
A strange instrument there I saw.
A huge screen hanging on the wall,
Displaying a golden space
Like bits of colorful crystal gemstones!
Resplendent with variegated colors of the city!
Those strange and beautiful high-rise buildings
A sight better than the myth of the world!
I saw lines of strange letters.
On one side of the screen flashed swiftly
Numerous young and strong giants
An effort to concentrate on the changing images
Their look is quiet and peaceful.
The learned flame flashes in their eyes.
In a flash of clothes
The next is a whole.
Their stature, unusually tall
Each one is well-nigh seven meters high.
Both men and women look dignified
Almost no age difference apparent
Their skin is white as snow
With a faint flashy shine
Bright eyes are as naive as an infant’s
Also kindled with a strange flame
They manipulate the magic of the instrument.
The pictures of the changing space
Their language is artless and plane.
As the bell is generally pleasant
As I survey the length and breadth of the bright hall
I feel a powerful energy
Body and mind suffused with bliss and delight.
As if I too am a giant.
I seem to understand their language.
They are exploring the mysteries of the universe.
The cities on a lot of planets
Peopled with their countless partners
Their mind they use to manipulate the instrument
Also can to transfer data be used
Even thousands of miles apart
Also to talk free to the heart
Many lines of text on the screen
Is but a message from afar
The whole universe is their home.
They build cities in space.
They use the spaceships
To transport you to far-distant other spaces
Into a lightning, a moment, and you
Vanish into thin air, without a trace.
I feel a new civilization.
They have magical eyes.
They seem to be able to see the future
And can enter diverse time-spaces.
Men and women are holy and loving
Superior to our world’s so-called love
They don’t seem to understand ageing
Neither do they know about war.
Time seems not to exist
Science is just a wonderful art
Their happiness comes from the creation of
A universe full of divine love
I saw a young giant
Opening the door of a platinum
A round, magnificent hall
Packed with rows of giant s of men and women
I saw a crystal stage.
Gyrating at the center of the hall
Where a dignified and beautiful girl
Was playing a huge musical instrument
A bunch of golden rays,
Shifting with all kinds of brilliant graphics
A mysterious and beautiful music
Like the Dragon leisurely crowing.
Thence I saw an enormous giant
Jump out of the remarkable dance onto the stage.
His hands held a huge ball
That flashed with many colorful drawing
I saw a group of young girls
Wearing a kind of white dresses
They seemed to fly lightly
Like the giant cranes.
The huge circular hall was resplendent
With clear, transparent decoration
Like a bizarre gem of a full set，
Scintillating brilliantly in the light
I saw a young singer
About the golden flame
The sound was strange and striking
Like singing, like chanting too.
Their music is at once mysterious and blissful
That shift randomly like the lightning
As if many planets of the universe
Shining bright and light?6?7 in space.
The crystal city, aloft in space
Looks resplendent, magnificent
Countless wonderful golden flowers
Bloom and blush in that flawless space.
I saw an image of a transparent smiling face,
As if it were a colorful garden
The sky shed the golden light
And turned it into a city of gold
I strode out of the circular hall
Came to a wide street with a smooth
Pavement covered with precious stones
And in line with the platinum edifice
There are no terrestrial trees here,
But they are in full bloom with a lot of exotic flowers.
Sparkling with rich incense,
Shaping a garden at the center of the street
Some strange flowers were there.
The branches as transparent crystal
Flashing all kinds of brilliant colors;
And bunches of round golden fruit
I saw a huge statue.
It was like a spaceship.
Clustered around by shining stars,
High above the center of the street
I saw the column of a dazzling fountain
In a huge circle in the square;
The elegantly modelled statues
Portraying the holy giants
The soaring magnificent edifices
Ran round the circle square
There were some garden villas
There was a platinum steeple.
I saw a wide river
Girdling this huge city
The bottom flashed with transparent gold dust,
Amidst which were scattered brilliant gems.
The planning of tall trees on shore
And a long crystal corridor
A big multi-colored bird
Three five one group floated on the surface of the water.
I saw a vast forest
The swaying tree, a tree of gold
The trees with towering spires
And as some platinum Pavilion
I saw some giants along the walk,
Some male and female bodybuilders
At the water’s brink or in the forest
Like birds carefree and relaxed.
The wonderful space was as bright as crystal
Embraced this platinum city;
A giant, white and bright ball
Flashing boundless light into the air
It resembled the huge suns
And like the man-made planets
The whole city was shining too,
Weaving a rare breed of magic
A strange speeding train circled
About the city back and forth;
There seemed to be a kind of track in the sky
Like a shiny silver curve.
They seated body white buildings
As if it was a dreamlike maze
This huge city was unusually quiet,
Could not even hear the sound of the wind
I bade goodbye to the platinum city.
Near a golden space
Stands another city here
A huge city of gold
The building here is also huge.
But it’s another beautiful shape.
The whole city glittering
Golden edifice as beautiful as sculpture
Here there live some other giants.
As if from another nation
They have boundless wisdom.
Like a golden, holy civilization.
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO PLATINUM CITY
Chinese poet-philosopher Hongri Yuan’s Platinum City poem is his vision while meditating in 1991 and written in 1998. It is his view of a civilization from the ancient past, its connection with ancient human life and the projection that with more awareness humans could become a universal civilization. From his consideration of ancient times wherein humans were giant-like and more idealized and gods idealized beings, he suggests that this view offers us a glimpse of what mankind may become with elimination of boundaries of nation, race and religion. Yuan believes that concepts of good vs. evil and beauty vs. ugliness will dissipate and humans can achieve a more universal civilization and homeland in the universe. Further, Yuan notes that prior times don’t disappear but remain locked within Space, and discovery of more such civilizations can only provide humans with keys to our advancement in the future.
About the Translator
Manu Mangattu Assistant Professor, Department of English, St George College Aruvithura, India, is poet, editor, director and rank-holder. He has published 7 books, 73 research articles and 36 conference papers apart from 14 edited volumes with ISBN. He serves as chief editor/editor for various international journals. He has done UGC funded projects and a SWAYAM-MOOC course. Besides translations from Chinese and Sanskrit, he writes poetry in English as well as in Indian languages. He was named “Comrade to Poetry China” in 2016. A visiting faculty at various universities and a quintessential bohemian-vagabond, he conducts poetry readings, workshops and lectures when inspired. After an apprenticeship in Shakespeare under Dr. Stephen Greenblatt, he currently guides 23 research scholars and mentors NET English aspirants. He can be reached at email: firstname.lastname@example.org