This is a book about the conflict between history and poetry — and historians and poets — in Atlantic World society from the end of the seventeenth century to the present day. Blending historiography and theory, it proceeds by asking: what is the point of poetry as far as historians are concerned? The focus is on W. H. Auden’s Cold War-era history poems, but the book also looks at other poets from the seventeenth century onwards, providing original accounts of their poetic and historical educations. An important resource for those teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in historiography and history and theory, Poetry for historians will also be of relevance to courses on literature in society and the history of education. General readers will relate it to Steedman’s Landscape for a Good Woman (1987) and Dust (2001), on account of its biographical and autobiographical insights into the way history operates in modern society.