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FOLK COLLECTION 11: The Skaggs Foundation Cowboy Poetry Collection

Date of Items: 1890-present
Register Prepared by: Randy Williams and Susan Gross, April 2004
Register Updated by: Randy Williams, 23 December 2009
Excel database transfered to MYSQL and uploaded (replacing PHP data): Colin Jackson, Fall 2010
MYSQL database updated: Randy Williams, January 2012
Linear Feet:20

Historical Note & Provenance

Folk Coll 11 is Utah State University's cowboy poetry collection. The collection, originally created by a generation donation by the L. J. and Mary Skaggs Foundation, includes books gathered during a fieldwork project in the early 1980s to document cowboy poetry in the U.S. west (see Folk Coll 11f). From this important fieldwork project came the impetus for the first Cowboy Poetry Gathering held in January 1985 in Elko, Nevada. Since that time, each January, the Fife Folklore Archives staff take the collection and Access database (that details each book, poem, author, first line and key words), to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for offsite use. Through University purchases and generation donations from poets and collectors, this collection continues to grow.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 20 linear feet of books on cowboy poetry, including press and self published works. The collection can be accessed through USU Libraries online catalog.

As well, poem titles and keywords found in each book in the collection are included in the database below. To use, type in the search term. Tip: Try and use an uncommon word from the poem to ensure less "hits." For instance, if you enter "boots" you will get many hits; but if you enter "bones" you will most liley get fewer "hits" or poems and find the item you seek faster. To return to the search page, click "home" at the bottom of the page.


Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
24566 Shorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon FC 11 K-28 148 Bill Siems, ed. Ike Gets a New Job About a week after they had took Cap to town with a broke leg the Boss goes in to see him. He comes back all fussed up.
24567 Shorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon FC 11 K-28 151 Bill Siems, ed. The Old Timers A bunch of old longhorns that's peacefully grazin', Like forty years back you'd still see on the range. When you come to think of it, it's really amazin', The way that the people and cattle both change.
24568 Shorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon FC 11 K-28 153 Bill Siems, ed. Shorty's Boss Buys Purebred Bulls Things got to changin' around the spread and all the old hands was gone. Even Ike went. I got a letter from Ed Gray, a feller that had been with us a couple of years
24569 Shorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon FC 11 K-28 155 Bill Siems, ed. Bruce Kiskaddon Visits Old Friends in Arizona On Saturday, April 8, the Livestock Growers of Mohave County held their spring meet. They gathered at the Cane Springs ranch on the Sandy, forty miles from Kingman.
24570 Shorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon FC 11 K-28 158 Bill Siems, ed. Afterword For The City Dweller - The Old Night Hawk I am not a cowboy, or even a want-to-be anymore--the work is too hard, and the pay is too low.
24571 Shorty's Yarns: Western Stories and Poems of Bruce Kiskaddon FC 11 K-28 159 Bill Siems, ed. The Old Night Hawk I am up tonight in the pinnacles bold Where the rim towers high. Where the air is clear and the wind blows cold, And there's only the horses and I.
24572 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 1 Norman Edward Rourke Sunshine on the Prairie Sunshine on the prairie brings joy to the heart, The cowboys are up and ready to start
24573 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 2 Norman Edward Rourke Luther Morse They say they're gone: the cowboys, They say their day is past, They say technology is the thing That's moving this world so fast.
24574 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 3 Norman Edward Rourke Lost Love They called him Juan the Mexican, They said he rode with Pancho on his daring Columbus raid
24575 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 4 Norman Edward Rourke Love Lost She sat alone, the fire her only friend, Her heart recalled forgotten years, And things that might have been: A young love so bold and sure
24576 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 5 Norman Edward Rourke Anazazi They were old, from a time before, When creatures walked along the shore Of rivers gone to desert sand, And emptiness filled a barren land.
24577 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 6 Norman Edward Rourke Little Jake Little Jake the burro was testin' out his legs, T'weren't nothin' more than spindly sticks, A couple of skinny pegs
24578 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 7 Norman Edward Rourke Emmett Dalton at Horsethief Canyon (Based on a true legend) It was a blustery morn in '05 when he stepped from the train, A bulky coat, hat pulled low, he was a man without a name
24579 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 8 Norman Edward Rourke Just Another Cowboy I was settin' 'n thinkin' 'bout the years that passed my way, Wonderin' if I'd done this or that would it be different today.
24580 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 N/A Norman Edward Rourke Nature Through poetry we can have a greater appreciatioin of Nature. A fragile, yet important, part of our environment and life, Nature reminds us we do not own the world.
24581 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 9 Norman Edward Rourke To Goldfinches Noisy creatures, the finch of gold, Chirping a single note As if they word should be told: They are here with spring and all is new
24582 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 10 Norman Edward Rourke Waiting Beneath the bush hiding carefully, In stillness do you wait, Your dappled color blending well, Keeps you from the hunter
24583 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 11 Norman Edward Rourke Warm A cold rain shrouds the place where I am, As trees, their colors gone, like sentinels stand.
24584 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 12 Norman Edward Rourke Wind Wind blows up the hill Forced stronger by the vale below, Wherein it builds until It no longer has a place to go.
24585 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 13 Norman Edward Rourke Stormy Day Stormy day--we need the rain. It comes in torrents then lifts again. Air is fresh, trees are clean, flowers bloom, and grass turns green.
24586 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 14 Norman Edward Rourke Run Rabbit! A rabbit runs under the bush in front, Hesitating a moment to confirm its place.
24587 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 15 Norman Edward Rourke On wings unseen On wings unseen they dart about, From place to place they search, Seeking nectar sweet from blossoms yet untouched.
24588 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 16 Norman Edward Rourke Blue Birds are Nesting Blue birds nesting, raising their young, Spring turns to summer, new life is begun, Colors flashing on grasses green, Snatching up insects and things unseen.
24589 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 17 Norman Edward Rourke Coyote Warily loping across the field, The coyote is alert to all around, Eyes see beyond, ears hear the silence, Nose captures smells from air and ground.
24590 Scribblings FC 11 R-42 N/A Norman Edward Rourke Reflections In our private moments, we all have reflections: thoughts about our lives, who we are, relationships.