This essay considers the disappearance from the historical record of hundreds of American poets who published regularly in the first half of the twentieth century. Since a pedagogically oriented canon emerged in 1950, scholars have assumed that a small number of established figures were sufficient to assess the state of American poetry, but historical research reveals an unsuspected and uncharted world. It would behoove those who take historicism seriously to reinvestigate the lost terrain of book-length poems, regional authors, so-called light verse, as well as mainstream figures whose standing seemed secure in their day yet have disappeared from view.

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