W. H. Auden called her one of the four “important” American poets of her time (the other three were T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, and Laura Riding); both Auden and Edmund Wilson called her the best American critic of poetry; and when Robert Frost read her first book of poems he said, “That woman will be able to do anything.” But Louise Bogan—who was born in 1897, flourished during the Twenties and Thirties, and died in 1970, more or less ignored by the literary world in which she had lived for half a century—seems to have been destined to remain, in the eyes of the multitudes, a minor figure on the landscape of modern literature. That Bogan published so little work, relatively speaking, certainly didn’t help. Between 1923 and 1937 she produced only three slim volumes of formal lyric poetry, Body of This Death, Dark Summer, and The Sleeping Fury; her three...


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