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About this poet

Yone Noguchi, the first Japanese-born writer to publish poetry in English, was born in 1875 in Tsushima. While studying at Keio Gijuku, Noguchi decided to travel to the United States. After arriving in San Francisco in 1893, Noguchi worked as a journalist and as a domestic servant before deciding to pursue poetry. A few years later, Noguchi published his first poems in a small San Francisco magazine called The Lark. He then went on to publish many articles and several books of poetry and prose. He returned to Japan in 1905, but continued to publish extensively in English, establishing himself as a cross-cultural and transnational writer. Noguchi died in Toyooka-mura on July 13, 1947.

At Night

Yone Noguchi, 1875 - 1947
At night the Universe grows lean, sober-
faced, of intoxication,
The shadow of the half-sphere curtains
down closely against my world, like a 
doorless cage, and the stillness chained by
wrinkled darkness strains throughout the Uni-
verse to be free. 
Listen, frogs in the pond, (the world is a pond itself)
     cry out for the light, for the truth!
The curtains rattle ghostlily along, bloodily biting
     my soul, the winds knocking on my cabin door
     with their shadowy hands.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Yone Noguchi

Yone Noguchi, the first Japanese-born writer to publish poetry in English, was born in 1875 in Tsushima. While studying at Keio Gijuku, Noguchi decided to travel to the United States. After arriving in San Francisco in 1893, Noguchi worked as a journalist and as a domestic servant before deciding to pursue poetry. A few years later, Noguchi published his first poems in a small San Francisco magazine called The Lark. He then went on to publish many articles and several books of poetry and prose.

by this poet

poem
When I am lost in the deep body of the
mist on the hill, 
The world seems built with me as its
pillar!
Am I the god upon the face of the deep, deepless
deepness in the Beginning?