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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
26040 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 74 George Rhoades Cellar Door I visited the old home place, First time in many a year; Shrubs, weeds, vines now grow On ground I once held dear. The old house is long gone; wood, rusted, slanted, clock
26041 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 75 George Rhoades Cotton-Pickin' Pullin' Bolls The pasture had gone back to grass, Cattle grazin' there, Where I remembered the cotton rows Stretchin' out everywhere.I paused, old farm memories Floodin' over me; settler, money, Dust Bowl
26042 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 77 George Rhoades Down On The Farm He grew up on the farm, Toilin' away with his dad, Plantin' crops, workin' cattle, Out in the weather good and bad. Brandin', hayin', herdin', ropin', John Deere, college, traffic, retired
26043 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 79 George Rhoades Dust Bowl Again? The old farmer squinted across The dry and barren landscape, Tugged on the bill of his cap, Watched a dust devil take shape. "Do you think," he slowly said, rain, storm, misery, ponds
26044 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 81 George Rhoades Fixin' Fence Or Haulin' Hay When I was a kid back on the farm On a day like today Wind chill near zero, sleet in the air, My dad would say: "Boys school buses ain't runnin', So this is a good day old, fire, remember, bales
26045 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 82 George Rhoades Free Advice Here's free advice I'll give to you: Don't play pool with a guy Who has his own pool cue. There's one thing to count on, Never buy a used vehicle From a man called "Honest John." Doc, shoppe, discount
26046 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 83 George Rhoades Hawks Up along the ridge line, Hawks nested in the cedar trees, Then wings spread in the sunshine, They soared on the summer breeze. Razor-sharp talons and beaks, sky, circling, quick, wind, hide
26047 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 84 George Rhoades In the Attic Hidden in the attic wall Inside a pouch cracked with age, High up in the ancient prairie house, A folded, crumbling tablet page. Scribbled in a shaking hand, Songbird, tombstone, image
26048 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 84 George Rhoades Songbird Oh Lord, I fear I'll never again See my old home in far Missouri Or my parents or brothers or sisters Or friends along the Big Piney. My little yellow canary songbird, In the Attic, joy, alive, hope
26049 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 86 George Rhoades Intolerance And Weeds Intolerance lurks in the human psyche, Ever ready to spout and grow, Like weeds in my hay field Always there, waiting, eager to go. It's a yearly constant struffle To hold the weeds at bay; prejudice, human race, fight
26050 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 87 George Rhoades Just Farmers Just farmers, that's what they were, On the southern plains, hard up and run down. Overalls and homespun clothes, Brogans and shabby boots, Sloppin' the hogs, corn, biscuits, chicken, farmhouse, poverty
26051 Stubby Pencil Poems of Rural Livin' Doin's
26052 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 89 George Rhoades Milkin' Cows Dark in the barn, Lantern light flickers, Cows in stalls, Heads firmly locked, Standin', waitin', Feedin' on hay. I carry my bucket And milkin' stool; manure, creams, sharp, chore
26053 Blood Sister, I am To These Fields FC 11 H-56 8 Linda Hussa Return After you've gone I notice your overnight bag on the bench by the screen door, shaving kit, freshly ironed shirt. cattle sale, lovers' return, dress-up
26055 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 90 George Rhoades Okie Shuffle We did the Okie shuffle All around the wooden floor In those dark and dirty days Amid troubles by the score. Hands that pulled a cotton sack Played a fiddle sweet, country, poverty, land, dusty, pain
26056 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 91 George Rhoades Oklahoma In-between state; Not really Southern, Not Northern either; From Yankee Kansas Down the Rebel Texas, From eastern timber To western prairie, From Red River To the Cherokee Strip, Native Americans, farmers, outlaws, rodeo stars
26057 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 92 George Rhoades Old Dirt Storm Cellar Mom would wake us in the night. "Get your clothes on right away. We have to run to the cellar. And hurry up," she would say. Dad held the old lantern high, rain, fraidy hole, bugs, safe
26058 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 94 George Rhoades Old Photos We looked at old photographs, Me and my mother, who was ninety-three; With laughs and tears about the past, We took a trip back to what used to be. Out-of-date hairstyles and fashions, memory, camera, conditions
26059 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 96 George Rhoades Opportunity I like my old farm pond, Dam covered in weeds and willow trees, Water murky brown, never clear blue; A place to sit and take my ease In the evening when chores are through. wind, waves, chances
26060 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 97 George Rhoades Red River Farm Born on the Texas high plains, The river starts its journey, Cutting through red-dirt land Heading for the distant sea. Dividing Texas and Oklahoma, Plunging into Louisiana finally, Chicago, stream, rusty, desolate
26061 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 99 George Rhoades Red-Dirt Road A red-dirt raod, rutted, dusty, Sometimes muddy, Ran by our farm When I was a youngster. I wondered where it went, Where it could take me Someday in the far future. fields, miles, countries
26062 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 101 George Rhoades Ridin' My Old John Deere Round and round the field I go, Poppin' tractor the only sound; My granddad worked it years ago, Plowin' up the wheat ground. A blue smudge far to the west, Wichitas, Mount Scott, buffalo, sunflowers
26063 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 103 George Rhoades Roy Lee, Sailor Roy Lee had finished basic, Wore his sailor uniform To the little two-room school On a day bright and warm. In the autumn of '44, War fever gripped the land conflict, navy, poor, war, uniform, died
26064 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 105 George Rhoades Saturday Trip to Town Me and my brother rode in back Of the old rattlin' pickup With cream cans, egg crates, Sometimes chicken coops, Garden produce, anything to sell; small, theater, comic book, drugstore
26065 After the Chisholm FC 11 R-45 108 George Rhoades Shovelin' Out The Cowlot Shovelin' away In the old cowlot, I learned a lesson I never forgot- Milk's not the only Thing, I allow, That comes Out of a cow. lesson, milk, cow