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Starlight Beyond the Milky Way: Honoring every moment of reflection

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Starlight Beyond the Milky Way: Honoring every moment of reflection

February 07
01:21 2023

Starlight Beyond the Milky Way

Starlight Beyond the Milky Way” by Mr. Yun Guanqiu is an original poetry anthology, which collects 80 exquisite poems written from the 1980s to the 2020s in both Chinese and English. This work represents Mr. Yun’s reflections on his life during the past four decades, and at the same time tells the story of the generation that experienced China’s reform and opening up.

Legend has it that God said: Let there be light. And so, there was light. This starlight beyond the Milky Way illuminates everyone, warming the hearts of travelers and inspiring the author’s infinite reverie. Therefore, “Starlight Beyond the Milky Way” was created, a work which is formed of four parts: Billions of Stars Following You, Experiencing the Universe in the Life of a Tree, Tramping like Ice Melting, and The Horizon Always Following Behind. The poems in this collection are based on author’s unique perspective as a science student majoring in aviation in the 1980s, poetically interpreting life, the land and philosophy.

Mr. Yun Guanqiu

The poems in this collection are noble in intention yet simple in emotion, containing beautiful and moving descriptions as well as narratives full of tension. The language is naturally unrestrained and exquisitely shaped, demonstrating the poet’s profound literary heritage. These eighty poems are all written in a modern style, but they incorporate the elegant rhythms of classical poetry. They are concise with intonation and staccato, and can be recited and sung to reveal a beautiful musicality within. For example, in the opening poem “Starlight Beyond the Milky Way“: The stars alone are the distant land of mine/Lofty mountains of those stars/Are elder brothers of my prime/Mighty rivers of those lands/Are the flowing thoughts of mine…The stars alone are the distant land of mine/The distant starlight beyond the Milky Way/O unattainable even in dreams, for which eternally I pine/Is none other than our native land/The starting point, the finishing line—These poems are deeply enjoyable; a great way to purify and refine one’s mind.

At the same time, as a poet who started writing poetry at the beginning of China’s reform and opening up period, Mr. Yun Guanqiu was influenced by various schools of poetry such as “Misty Poetry”. The author mostly took an inner spiritual world as the main subject, expressing his ideas indirectly through symbolism and imagery, so that the poetic realm gives off a somewhat hidden and hazy beauty. For instance, in “Resisting“: In the wilderness of a cold winter/I hear myself like internodes growing and crackling/Facing all darkness alone/I am ready for—This poem takes the image of a plant during winter to symbolize and express resistance to adversity, thus producing a subtle yet powerful literary effect.

This anthology demonstrates the beauty of the poems and the artist’s conception in various ways, depicting such phenomena as icebergs, clouds, rain, seeds, fruits, evening breezes, andantes, streets, and aspen trees in the poetry “Return“. The poem “Philosophy” gives a profound philosophical interpretation on the meaning of “adversities” and “lonesome isolation”, showing the beauty of philosophy… and the poem “Midsummer” reflects the special beauty within nature: an autumn breeze, brave lonely geese, strong willed seeds… and the poem “Soulmates” adopts a neat counterpoint form and clear rhythm to reveal the charm of language…All readers, no matter what kind of style they prefer, will find that these poems resonate with their own experiences and feelings, making this anthology a rich and multifaceted work of literature, philosophy and history that deserves public attention.

According to the author himself, most of these poems were written during his travels or shortly before sleep. The poet grasps the momentary bursts of inspiration that come from his profound literary heritage, and then developed his thoughts to produce profoundly poetic results. Every life filled with contemplation deserves respect, and every moment of reflection deserves to be honored. Our sincere respect and honor for Mr. Yun Guanqiu’s poetry is thus manifested in the production of this anthology.

Last but not the least, this anthology’s English version avoids rigid literal translation, using universal feelings to bridge the language gap. At the same time, the translation adopts an approach of “faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance”, so that both Chinese and English-speaking readers can enjoy and deeply understand the beauty of these poems.

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