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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.


Search:

Poetry table.

First Previous Next Last
IDBook TitleComposerIndexPagesAuthorPoem TitleFirst LinesKeywords
26431 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 127 Linda Hussa Nor A Borrower Be New pickup, shiny, clean pulls into the yard no hay stacked three tiers high no jumper cables or fix-it-all toolbox or handyman jack or wads of baling wire budget, taxes, ink, failure
26432 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 129 Vess Quinlan Spring A gentle agony, not really painful; It does not tear, but nibbles and complains, like a child too tired to eat. I am not frightened or confused. survive, impatient, storms, tension
26433 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 130 Rod McQueary War Poems by Cowboys: White Wall There ought to be another wall white, bright, and pretty in a grove of trees with picnic tables, dance floor, and a viet vet ragtime band. marriage, education, reward, celebrate
26434 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 130 Rod McQueary War Poems by Cowboys: Sweet Dreams the world comes crashing back wire tourniquet around your chest and skull blood pressure gauge needle pegged sitting up wild fists slinging sweat greedy, strange, crazy, hell
26435 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 131 Rod McQueary War Poems by Cowboys: For Souls Perhaps, he said, it's not a man's heart or mind that drives him down to the surging sea to straining mast. Not mind, he said, that makes him fill reckless, forsake, sky, god, death
26436 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 131 Bill Jones War Poems by Cowboys: Five Days Home My father and I sit in the shade of a chinaberry tree talk softly about the last good war. A time of ration cards and Gold Star Mothers. pilots, cargo, hazy, whisper, news, barn
26437 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 132 Trish O' Malley Sagebrush Hymn Our lady of Artemisia Desert Deity, some might question naming a plant so seldom seen in the company of trees after the Greek Goddess of the Wood. virgin, landscape, Artemisia, desire
26438 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 134 Linda M. Hasselstrom Make a Hand "Make a hand!" my father hollered when my friends came down to visit. Almost everyone I knew would come to help us, iron, gender, casket, garbage, loan, ranch
26439 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 136 Red Steagall Deacon and the Dun Ol' Deacon was a puncher, born a hundred years too late. A top hand, and he sure as hell was tough. His bed was in a corner, he had been there thirty years. king, rim, eagle, family, saddle
26440 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 137 Red Steagall Hats Off to the Cowboy The city folks think that it's over. They cowboy has outlived his time- an old worn-out relic, a thing of the past, but the truth is, he's still in his prime. image, freedom, handshake, ethics
26441 Brushstrokes & Balladeers: Painters and Poets of the American West C.J. Hadley FC 11 H-60 144 Margot Liberty Epitaph She never shook the stars from their appointed courses, but she loved good men, and she rode good horses. partners, horses, stars
26446 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 13 G.M. Atwater The Old Dog The old dog lays, as an old dog will, in shade beside the house. Her four feet twitch, she whines and yips; what is she dreaming, now? Does mem'ry go to trails of the past, coyote, wolf, love, spirits
26447 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 15 G.M. Atwater Trouble Rides Double One time I saw a fine picture: a cowboy a-sittin' his horse, his hat was pulled low and sitting below in the shade was a cow dog, of course. This ol' boy, he called with a whistle monsters, scared, fat, saddle, tear
26448 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 17 G.M. Atwater The Desert Law I cannot change, nor would I dare, the code that guides us all, out there. The code that marks men poor or good. The measure by which men are stood to prove themselves chased, toruble, marriage, bluff, dare, confess
26451 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 21 G.M. Atwater Tennie Lamas There's Bonds and Tony Lamas, Wilson boots and Bluchers, too. Whites and Grizzly packers and that whole durn lace-up crew. Texas, stitches, fancy, beat
26452 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 22 G.M. Atwater To Them That Think They Know It All I do believe the time has come. I've had enough of you and listening while you rattle on 'bout what-all you can do. I'm going to set you straight now, experience, expertise, boss, wizard, farm
26453 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 24 G.M. Atwater The Home Place He leans upon his shovel, tips his hat and wipes his brow. The heat has sucked his strength plumb gone, but 'least there's water now. More than was this morning, habit, July, death, apart, town
26454 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 27 G.M. Atwater For Barton I've kind of got used to the common talk of the sorry state of affairs, how prices are up, the economy down and crime is 'most everywhere; Wars and famines and terrible stuff trouble, enduring, quit, distresses
26455 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 27 G.M. Atwater The Bright Side It's twenty miles west to the highway, two dozen south to the well, fifty miles east to headquarters, and - you guessed it - ten feet to hell. It's a hundred square miles cows, critters, neighbors, dog
26456 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 28 G.M. Atwater Moving Camp A cowboy loads his pickup truck, his saddle last to go. he pats the dog and tells his wife it's time to hit the road. Their goodbyes said and camp, windswept, memory, soul, young, TV
26457 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 30 G.M. Atwater The Mystery Of The Mule I've been lately thinking on that hybrid critter, Mule, on why he is the way he is and does the things he'll do. And since you're sittin' handy, donkey, nature, race, stubbornness
26458 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 33 G.M. Atwater The Cowboy Situation There's a sort of contradiction in the cowboy's situation where a man does all his work upon a horse. He's sure pleasured of his saddle and healed, killer, God, dreams, Spring, money
26459 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 35 G.M. Atwater Pack Rat There's one certain critter that makes a man bitter when it dines on his saddle and gear. The teeth marks and smell are sure clue that, hell, payment, trade, borrowed, hide
26460 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 37 G.M. Atwater Going, But Not Gone he sips at black coffee in a Texaco cup and stares out the door at the sun coming up. It's time to be moving; there's work to be done; but the radio plays hill, creek, loves, blood, Goverment, future, balance
26461 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 40 G.M. Atwater The Head Packer Now, I think the Lord's a mule packer, and I'm going to tell you just why; For I think that only a packer could load up a universe right! He chose stars rainbows, valley, life, diamonds, heavens