Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By Yuan Hongri
Translated by Manu Mangattu

Photo by Štěpán Vraný on Unsplash

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 a full new world,

And saw the holy kingdoms:

Even before the earth was born–

The erstwhile home of human history.

In the crystal garden I saw

A crowd of youthful giants,

Their eyes were bright and glittering

In the aura of the body’s sparkle.

Across Time and Space in crystalline glitter

Stands this moment a platinum city –

A ship drifting leisurely,

Like large birds, resplendent in variegated hues.

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 linesof 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 naïve as an infant’s

Also kindled with a strange flame.

They manipulate the magic of the instrument.

A picture 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 times and 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.

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;

An elegantly modelled statue

Portraying a 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 f 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)


Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. Representative works include Platinum City,  The City of Gold, Golden Paradise , Gold Sun and Golden Giant.


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