Qinghai Lake International Poetry Manifesto
By Jidi Majia
Translated by Huang Shao Zheng
One of the earliest cradles of human songs, the fountain head of three China’s mega waterways, Qinghai boasts a topographical position in the world’s highest plateau, standing in pristine magnificence and hemmed in with poetic halo, luring and beckoning poets ,thither and hither, far and wide, to gather by the shores of the holy Lake Koknor, bearing witness to a major cultural event. Today, we--this small migratory compact community of 220 poets from 23 counties, are lining lakeside to solemnly proclaim a manifesto, firmly affirmative of our poetic conscience as well as sanctity of poetic art.
First and foremost, we are convinced, since time immemorial, the most beautiful thing that happened to us humans is we are possessed of and by poetry, And thanks to the first generation of troubadors and ballad singers, man came out of chaos, striking out from the Jurassic jungle of the survival of the fittest into the dawn of civilization. Poetry took its origin from our ancient sages’ , prophets’ and poets’ dialogue with the deities, in their communion with themselves. Invariably the oldest art form within the compass of varied human discourse, poetry has proved to be the most vital and influential. It is inconceivable that man could have survived all the odds thrown his way without an inner prop like Illiad, Gesar or Book of Songs. Poetry is the raindrop that nurtures life, the sunshine that soothes melancholy, the ultimate divine force that purifies and uplifts human nature. A few inspired lines of Homer Li Bo and Shakespeare refine things around us and turn a stark coarse environment into a fairy land. Ever standing vigil in the forefront of human activity, poetry has been closely interwoven with all the cultural themes that make our spiritual life possible.
Looking back, the past century has seen an overflowing of human glory as well as of disgrace of his own making. There is too much undeserved suffering. There is also an abundance of divine-inspired redemption. Challenge is turned into opportunity, and crisis, into new impetus. The fermentation of Instrumental Rationality has led to a flourishing science and technology by tapping the huge potential latent in the inner recesses of the human psyche. In his efforts to harness and exploit nature, man has achieved the fullest measure of freedom which hangs heavy in his daring all hands. On the other hand, overdependence upon machine and computer has taken its toll, spawning a spiritual debasement and a choking of personality en mass , as well as a drastic decline in creativity in its wake.
But there is still hope and hope there is again found in poetry, the essence of human intellect and the eye of human conscience. For poets, regardless of origin or religion, are all endowed by the Creator with a pure poetic heart, throbbing and burning with a zest for Truth, Good and Beauty. At this moment ,from where in closest proximity to the Sun, we appeal to all our counterparts and all those wishing to be enlightened afresh to lend us an ear for the proclamation of our manifesto.
We proclaim solemnly we will commit ourselves to restoring the integrity of a natural ethics governing human contact with nature, bridging of communication and understanding between cultures, upholding of the torch of the ancient hope of and faith in life and pushing for a globe where mutual respect ,caring and love prevails.
We proclaim in deadly earnest that we shall undertake to purify language and exemplify poetic art in the name of which we oppose war to peace, evil to justice and with the means we excel, we will endeavor to deter suffering and death
Last but not the least, we will go all out to bring harmony to fruition, one that is essentially poetic by all accounts, cosmic in scope, deserving of human dignity, in refashioning a healthy and loving relationship involving all the sentient beings on earth. There lies, we believe, the very responsibility of poets as well as the mission of poetry in large.
For the sake of our responsibility, for the mission of this vital human art, we will keep up our warm entreaties with the Muses relentlessly. Never forsake us. Give us inspiration and render us vulnerable to your charm so that here and now, in face of the holyLake Koknore, we resolve and pray:
Let Mother Nature be deeply revered.
Let life in all shapes loose and free
Let civilization be held in genuine sanctity
And finally let poetry retake root in human hearts.
Published on September 2013