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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
26462 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 42 G.M. Atwater The Want-Ad Hello? I heard you're hirin', so I thought I'd give a call. What's that? No, I'm a single man. Just have one dog, is all. Oh, yes, he's purely cow-dog, Nevada, Idaho, windmill, Christmas, jobs
26463 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 44 G.M. Atwater Here's To 'Em Here's to the brave and the wild ones, the fur trappers living alone; For beaver they braved the uncharted, and the wilderness cradles their bones. Here's to the forgotten soldiers prospector, Dodge, Cheyenne, dreams, fulfillment, gamblers
26464 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 46 G.M. Atwater Thanks, But No Thanks "Women's Lib," she said. "Isn't the by-word. we don't trouble with chauvinist swine or burn bras in public sedition as we did in more diffcult times. battle, vanished, boss, bunkhouse
26465 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 49 G.M. Atwater The Texan And The lady Fall of 1868 the longhorn cattle came to Chyenne for shipment east upon the rails. And there a Texas cowboy lost his simple, lonely heart rich, hopes, train, handsome boy
26466 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 51 G.M. Atwater The Note A farmer's wife went walking out on balmy summer day to meditate within the shack a dozen yards away. She sat in quiet comfort, nature, breeze, porch, caution, burn
26467 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 52 G.M. Atwater Adversaries The cowman and the wolf; we make the strangest sort of foes. The fight's a mighty basic one, who eats, and who must go. We're trying to feed the human pack. winter, wolf, predator, endanger
26468 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 54 G.M. Atwater Not A Clue Early spring some years ago; the snow was melted, then; We had to work some heifers at the IL shippin' pens. Louie did the brandin', Bill, himself, clouds, smoke, speechless, wallet, poked
26469 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 56 G.M. Atwater Goodbye And Thanks Somewhere tonight a horseman is trotting. Cowboy, they're calling you home. But only the moon sees and only the coyote. Cowboy, They're calling you home. mistress, boss, Jefferson, saddle, winters
26470 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 58 G.M. Atwater Dogz There's dogs and then there's dog, says I; Loyal companions in faith 'till they die; or free-ranging rovers who take to the hills, K-9, herders, yapper, whistles, companion
26471 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 60 G.M. Atwater Pretty Boy Sure hate to ship that old pony. He's been a darn good 'un for years. Even the boss, himself, rode him; saw many long miles 'tween his ears. trailer, heaven, saddle, cookhouse
26472 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 63 G.M. Atwater How They Do It I've learned how you make your wives crazy. It's all little tircks on the mind. The secret is just act forgetful and really sincere, all the time. Now, every man knows promise, honor, scraps, skill, family, nagging
26473 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 65 G.M. Atwater The Horseman And The Storm In the west there looms a storm cloud, just as dark as Hell's front door and thunder rolls from rim to canyon rim. The yellow grass is flattened by a sudden whirling gust God, fury, heaven, rain, dies, frozen, sunset
26474 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 67 G.M. Atwater Two Cent's Worth In this modern age where all distance is blurred, dispite all the changes, still argument's heard as to what kind of saddle's the best one to ride: Montana to Texas, leather, job, antique, pony, boot
26475 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 68 G.M. Atwater The Epidemic If you'll permit me, neighbors, friends, this meeting I'll address concerning a new malady that's sweeping through the West. It's cause for grave concern, danger, disease, rhyme, snow, smart,poor
26476 Backtracks Through the High, Wide and Lonesome FC 11 A-20 71 G.M. Atwater The Way That It Was Do you remember the way that it was, out there; the breeze at the top of the hill, all scented with safebrush and pinion; the valleys so breathlessly still, the rumbling hooves of the cavvy empty, diesel, critter, blazing, health, strong, dream
26477 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 5 Virginia Bennett All That Is Left At the mouth of a red-rock canyon near the base of a sandstone cliff she stands as a skeleton sentinel with branches, arthritic and stiff. And those up-turned fingers appears pray, homesteader, flame, canyon, spring
26481 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 6 Virginia Bennett Prairie Fires All across the prairies, they start to burn. Long before daybreak, what could they be? Some unheard signal has just been given, they appear like beacons in a pitch-black sea. breed, die, coffee, sense
26482 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 7 Virginia Bennett Benediction May your horse never trip in a hole, when across the prairie you're lopin! I ain't askin' for a cow to be sick, but may one once in awhile need ropin! habits, crime, yield, sell, coffee
26483 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 8 Virginia Bennett Treading On Sacred Ground Swarming out of the valleys and canyons like ants, I watch them leave. Bearing their precious burden: trophies and booty display for all. Campers and Jeeps piled high with gear cafe, parking, stare, greet, trespassers
26484 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 9 Virginia Bennett Perpetual Motion Born in Amarillo, cursed with a restless, wanderin' soul. His home will never be a physical place you could put on some taxman's roll. But rather, instead, his home's a mobile spread wife, shuffle, meadow, true friend, generation
26485 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 10 Virginia Bennett Temporarily On The String There's a dog lyin' chained in someone's yard downtown. He's a black and white stock dog shiny coat, but dull of eye. With nose on paws, he watches silent, butterflies, imaginary, flight, backyard
26486 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 11 Virginia Bennett The Dead Yearling The low-growth bushes were starting to bud and the first blades of grass began to appear as my mare picked her way through rocks and mud, wearing her first set of shoes for the year. breeze, birth, breath, ghost, fools
26487 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 12 Virginia Bennett High Stakes You have to be willing to risk it all beyond the point of caring. In one split second, you must dare with no thought of daring. In this play of horses, death, skull, safest, nails
26488 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 13 Virginia Bennett The Silent Hero He'll never receive a medal of honor. You'll not see him wear a purple heart. No one will ever call him "hero". Even if they did, he'd never accpet the part. Yet, everyday, self-denial, critter, talent, strength
26489 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 14 Virginia Bennett The Lure Of The Leather There's places I've seen of which I shall not tell that magnetically draw me to the canyon once more. That lay hold on my compass explore, trail, beckon, ignore