by Hongri Yuan
Translated by: Manu Mangattu
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 lightnings. 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 colourful crystal gemstones! Resplendent with variegated colours 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 jut 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 Which flashed with many colourful 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 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 colourful 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 colours; And bunches of round golden fruit . I saw a huge statue. It was like a spaceship. Clustered around by shining stars, High above the centre 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-coloured 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 is 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. 3.3. 1998
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, The Poetry Village, 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.
This brief reader’s introduction to Chinese poet-philosopher Hongri Yuan’s Platinum City poem which 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 prior human life and the projection that with more awareness humans could become a more universal future civilization and people. 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, for instance. 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.
Translated by Manu Mangattu
Assistant Professor, Department of English
St George College Aruvithura, India
sent to us: Jan 2, 2021