Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By Chinese Poet Yuan Hongri
Translated by Manu Mangattu


Ah! Into a pleasant hallway of gold

Thou did the crystal of the sky mould.

A shining City of Gold

Chanting unto me from far afield.


Into the golden gate I strode

A palace colossal to behold.

Without, a soaring Tower did dazzle

A towering wondrous Grand Castle.


It seemed to the past a billion years I travelled.

Perchance, a primal giant my eyes beheld;

In the breeze his sleeves fluttered.

A transparent golden Robe uncluttered;


The appearance was holy, hallowed.

With a sweet smile they bellowed

As tall as a mountain they loomed

But as light as birds they seemed.


Into a golden palace I sauntered

To regard the sacred giant

His body was like the Sun

Enveloped by a golden flame.


In the hall at the centre he sat

Where bloomed many a huge lotus

Some golden giants too were there

Sitting on the lotus flaunting a smile.


In that Grand Palace studded with gems

Hung an enormous mould of gold;

A mellifluous song lulled all along

Rumbling like thunder, causing concussion.


On the front wall I saw engraved

In a noble script, an impressive word;

Resplendent and magnificent, the whole palace

Was filled with fragrance – wonderful, intoxicating.


Clouds with golden wings

Were flying over: all a mirage

A blossoming thrice wonderful

Blooming in the garden outside the temple.


I saw a towering Castle

Like a mountain, upright in the sky

Brilliant design, gorgeous styling

As if God had built it Himself


Colourful gems shine like a mosaic,

A medley of all kinds of strange drawing;

A round gold tower

Like a forest stands in space.


A broad circular Gallery then I saw

Surrounded by the golden castle

Each column was as high as ten thousand meters

Carving out numerous exquisite images.


I walked into a great hall,

I saw some huge statues

Like a group of golden giants

Smiling unto me.


I crossed a huge arch

Into a golden hall

To see a huge picture

Hung on the hall wall.


Each portrait of a transparent flash

Could draw a Golden Paradise

As if a three-dimensional space

Magically unfolded before thine eyes


I heard a mysterious music

Which made my heart take wings

A huge picture of the holy girl

On a plucked instrument was manifest.


She sat in a huge palace

A giant circle around the ring seat

Every giant smiled and smiled

Curling around a golden flame


This girl’s elegant posture

Wearing a golden dress

Body shining like a huge halo

Resembling the head of a golden sun.


A huge palace like a fortress

Outside the temple was the endless Garden

Flying golden feather bird

The garden with its pavilions, terraces and open halls


A blossoming of the wondrous exotic

Giving out an intoxicating fragrance

Like a sweet girl

With her model of elegant charm


A sparkling waterfall

Circling along from the hill

As a crystal emerald

Haunting this amazing Garden.


A group of boys and girls:

Dressed in bright and colourful clothes

Some would sit and rest in the Pavilion

Some would walk in the flowers, in the game.


I saw a huge old man

Sitting in a red cloud.

Only a crane flew around

And there was a huge Phoenix.


Another city in the sky

Far from the golden light

At a grand chic

The sky stood in layers


I seemed to hear the call of the divine

The old man came leisurely.

He lifted a huge golden book

And a kind of novel language I heard spoken


I saw a great line of words

Like a row of golden giants

They turned into a ray of light, and,

Suddenly flew into my chest.


My body was sweet and happy

The moment turned momentous

The sacred old man stood beside me

His smile filled the air of the city.


I became a golden giant

Beckoned back to the golden castle

Then came a giant

Who smiled and called out my name


Our bodies were just as big

We were like twin brothers

And Lo! This huge golden castle

Seemed to belong to us.


All on a sudden I saw a vision

I too was a holy giant

In every palace in the city of gold

I too had left my glad imprints.

3.18 .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. His poetry has beenmore widely published in the UK, USA ,India ,New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria.


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