Deep pain and deep beauty oscillate throughout Sagawa’s work, often triggered in the same image. “Insects pierce green through the orchard,” she writes in “Like a Cloud.” “The sky has countless scars. The skin of the earth emerges there, burning like a cloud.”
For the New Yorker, Adrienne Raphel details the renewed interest in Sagawa Chika, one of the most unique yet seldom-read poets in early-20th-century Japan, and her influence on modernist aesthetics of Japanese poetry. According to Raphel, Sagawa stands out not only as one of the few female poets of her time, but one who wrote outside of the usual subjects of domesticity and broke away from the formalist traditions of haiku and tanka.