Poetry from Hongri Yuan, translated by Manu Mangattu

Older Asian man standing in a green field with flowers with large apartment buildings in the background
Poet Hongri Yuan
Young middle aged South Asian man with a blue collared shirt, professional headshot
Translator Manu Mangattu
The City of Gold
By Chinese Poet Yuan Hongri
Translated by Manu Mangattu
Assistant Professor, Department of English
St George’s College Aruvithura, India
manumangattu@gmail.com
www.mutemelodist.com
 
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
 
Bio:
Hongri Yuan (b. 1962) is a Chinese mystic poet and philosopher. His works has been published in journals and magazines internationally in UK, USA, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria. He has authored a number long poems including Platinum City, The City of Gold, Golden Paradise and Golden Giant. The theme of his works is the exploration of human prehistoric and future civilization.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
黄金城市
 
远红日
 
天空的水晶啊
你化成金色的长廊
一座黄金的城市
在远方向我歌唱
我跨进了那座黄金的城门
看到了一座座巨大的宫殿
一座座高耸天外的巨塔
一座座巍峨宏大的城堡
我仿佛来到了亿万年前
看到了一个个远古的巨人
他们的衣袖啊随风飘飘
仿佛是金色透明的袈裟
他们的容颜神圣庄严
又含着甜蜜动人的微笑
他们的身体高大如山岳
却像鸟儿一般轻巧
 
我走进一座黄金的宫殿
见到一位神圣的巨人
他的身体像一轮太阳
环绕一层层金色的火焰
 
他端坐在这座大殿的中央
周围盛开巨大的金莲
一些金光闪耀的巨人
微笑地坐在莲花之上
 
宏大的金殿嵌满宝石
悬挂一幅幅巨大的金像
一种甜蜜悦耳的歌声
像雷鸣一般轰轰震荡
 
我看到一行行巨大的词语
刻满了大殿正面的金壁
整座大殿宏伟辉煌
弥漫着奇妙醉人的芳香
 
一只只翅翼如云的金鸟
飞满了这座金殿的上空
一朵朵巨大绚丽的奇葩
盛开在这座殿外的花园
 
我看到一座巍峨的城堡
像一座山岳挺立云霄
绝妙的设计华丽的造型
仿佛是上帝亲手建成
 
五彩的宝石熠熠闪耀
镶嵌出种种奇异的画图
一座座圆形的黄金巨塔
像一座座森林矗立太空
 
一条宽广的圆形长廊
环抱着这座黄金城堡
每一根圆柱都高达万米
雕刻出无数精美的图像
 
我走进了一座圆形巨厅
看到一些巨大的雕像
仿佛一群黄金的巨人
正在向我迷人地微笑
 
我跨过一座巨大的拱门
走进一座金色的大厅
看到一幅幅巨大的画像
挂满了这座大厅的金壁
 
每一副画像透明闪光
画出一座座黄金乐园
仿佛一个个立体空间
神奇地展现在你的眼前
 
我听到一阵玄妙的音乐
令我的心儿怦然而动
一副巨画中的圣洁少女
正在弹拨着一种乐器
 
她坐在一座巨大的金殿
周围环座着一圈圈巨人
每一个巨人都欢喜微笑
周围缭绕着金色的火焰
 
这少女的身姿端庄优雅
穿着一件金色的裙裳
身体闪放巨大的光环
头顶一轮金色的太阳
 
巨大的金殿像一座皇宫
殿外是一望无际的花园
空中飞翔金羽毛的大鸟
园里是一座座楼阁亭台
 
一朵朵巨大闪光的奇葩
悠悠飘出醉人的芳香
仿佛一个个芬芳的少女
现出各种优雅的风姿
 
一条光芒闪闪的瀑布
从一座金山上飘然洒落
化成一条晶莹的玉带
萦绕着这座神奇的花园
 
一群群欢笑的少男少女
穿着绚丽多彩的衣裳
有的在亭台上静坐休憩
有的在花丛中漫步游戏
 
我看到一位巨大的老人
端坐在一朵红云之上
周围飞翔着一只只白鹤
还有一只只巨大的凤凰
 
天空闪耀另一座城市
远远发出金色的光芒
一座座宏大别致的金殿
层层叠叠矗立在天上
 
我仿佛听到神圣的召唤
悠然来到了老者的身边
他托起一部巨大的金书
念诵着一种新奇的语言
 
我看到一行行巨大的词语
仿佛一排排金色的巨人
他们化成一道道光芒
倏然飞入了我的胸膛
 
我的身体甜美欢喜
一瞬间变得异常巨大
我身边那位神圣的老人
微笑着飘入空中的城市
 
我变成了一个金色的巨人
回到了那座黄金的城堡
这时走过来一位巨人
微笑着呼喊我的名字
 
我们的身体同样巨大
仿佛是一对孪生兄弟
这座巨大的黄金城堡
仿佛本属于我们自己
 
我恍然看到了一幅幅画面
我原本是一位神圣的巨人
这黄金之城的每一座宫殿
都曾留下过我快乐的足迹
 1998.3.18 北京
Stylized image of a shining golden city with clouds and mountains and a rainbow.
City of Gold

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