Yone Noguchi’s first collection, Seen & Unseen, Or, Monologues of a Homeless Snail (1897, 1920), which includes “At Night,” was published in San Francisco by the editors of The Lark. Noguchi’s spare and direct form, along with his advocacy of free verse, inspired Ezra Pound and the Imagist movement.
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.