I chanced upon this Chinese poem written by Mr. Wen JiaBao, the Premier of China, here. According to the news story, Mr. Wen was meeting with university students and took the opportunity to dispense a few words of encouragement to the so-called future pillars of society, admonishing them not to focus only on the matters right “below their feet”. Instead, they should look up and around them, be awed by the vista that such a simple change in the frame of mind would bring. The whole world is your stage, Mr. Wen entreats impassionedly, and challenges them to scale greater heights, perform greater feats, and surmount greater odds, for humanity.
The poem is not written in the classical format, but rather the free format of today’s genre, whose easy flowing prose evokes resonation in the readers all the same. The contents have struck a chord in me, the message of which transcends national boundaries, and is equally poignant regardless of the country’s geography, demographics, and stage of development. Hence, this attempt at an English translation. May we all embrace the vision expounded therein and work for the global community.
Looking up at the Universe
by Wen JiaBao, Premier of China
I look up at the universe, so sparse and expansive, embodying infinite truth, and I labor to seek, to follow.
I look up at the universe, so solemn and pristine, evincing regal righteousness, and filling me with passion, with trepidation.
I look up at the universe, so liberal and serene, displaying boundless horizon, and cradling my mind, lending support.
I look up at the universe, so magnificent and luminous, emitting eternal warmth, and kindling in me a ray of hope, sounding a spring thunder.