He is not trendy among scholars. He died in 1958.
I was looking at his Wikipedia entry, and came across this:
Service is also noted for his use of ethnonyms that would normally be considered offensive "slurs", but with no insult apparently intended. Words used in Service's poetry include jerries (Germans), dago (Italian), pickaninny (in reference to a Mozambican infant), cheechako (newcomer to the Yukon and Alaska gold fields, usually from the U.S.), nigger (African-American), squaw (Aboriginal woman), and Jap (Japanese).In other words, he sometimes writes like Clint Eastwood talks in Gran Torino.
Which now that I think about it, is probably part of the reason he is not trendy among scholars.
The Cremation of Sam McGee is probably his greatest hit. He uses an interesting rhyme form. Here are the first 2 "regular" lines:
Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.At first it just looks like a rhyming couplet, but if you read it aloud you immediately realize that each line has 2 internal rhymes as well. Complicated. But he made it sound easy.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ‘round the Pole, God only knows.
Robert Service could tell a story so well, and move it so smoothly along,
that when it turned odd, you didn't shout "God! This narrative's truly gone wrong."
Instead you just listened about ice that glistened and someone who laughed in the flame,
and when it was done, you thought "That was fun," and saw why he has lasting fame.