poem index

poet

Yone Noguchi

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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. 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.

by this poet

poem

       I hear you call, pine tree, I hear you upon the hill, by the silent                 pond
where the lotus flowers bloom, I hear you call, pine tree.
       What is it you call, pine tree, when the rain falls, when the                       winds
blow, and when the stars appear, what is it you

poem
And victor of life and silence,
I stood upon the Heights; triumphant,
With upturned eyes, I stood,
And smiled unto the sun, and sang
A beautifully sad farewell unto the dying day.
And my thoughts and the eve gathered
Their serpentine mysteries around me
poem
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)