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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
26490 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 16 Virginia Bennett Life Goes On Dancing She lay dying in a nursing home in an eastern room, on the first floor. My father had journeyed to visit her, and I, not having choices then, was turned away at the door. So, he stayed with his grandmother, Fay Hovey, flowers, toenails, loss, remeber
26491 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 17 Virginia Bennett The Draw Of The Wild Something there is within the heart of man that struggles to escape. Tho' hidden, it lies dormant like a bird denied it's song. Once in a while, it takes a stand and moon, blood, ritual, grizzly, buffalo
26492 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 21 Virginia Bennett At The Quarter Circle Five I count it a privilege that I've had the chance to ride with the crew on a big outfit ranch. To eat a big breakfast and run out the door and have horses all loaded in the trailer by four. desert, romance, chill, photographer
26493 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 22 Virginia Bennett The Move The sealed boxes are stacked by the old wooden door. I've vacuumed the carpets and put wax on the floor. I gave away my house plants and all my old hens. My fears have common true, we're moving again. goodbyes, friend, playground, beloved, cost
26494 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 23 Virginia Bennett Ol' Blue All through your life, you will notice your wants take you down different courses. As for my life, It's been guided by a weakness for them darn "blue" horses. Whenever I see one, luck, story, advice, battle
26495 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 24 Virginia Bennett His Disadvantage A buckaroo's life is hard, but it's one he cannot discard. His work's more than his job and yes-sir-ee, Bob. His body gets battered and scarred. Ridin' after ringy old cows. cage, badger, soul, ranch, promotion, frown, pain
26496 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 25 Virginia Bennett Nice Work If You Can Get It To: The secretary of Agriculture up in Washington, D.C. From: A guy who's been raisin' cattle since 1963. Dear Sir: My friend, Buford Tully, payment, expert, dollars, deer, food stamps, free cheese
26497 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 26 Virginia Bennett The Tough Goodbye He stood there by the windmill, and gazed out over his spread. Then, remembering the facts, he shook his grizzled head. Even tho' he felt true ownership payroll, storm, power, strong, heifers
26498 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 27 Virginia Bennett On Quittin' maybe there's a seductive pleasure for a cowboy, whenever he quits. (for it's true, they're known for quittin' whenever that travelin' mood hits) and he'll throw away a damn good job bull, wife, ranch, boss, life, addictive
26499 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 28 Virginia Bennett Memory's Still I am an old cowboy in a nursin' home surrounded by others like me. They say i'm too feeble to live on my own that this is the place i should be. Most of my time is spent in this chair perfume, rain, memory, trembling voice, birthday
26500 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 29 Virginia Bennett Full Coverage Just sitting here thinking of impendin' tax forms, BLM and A.U.M. and your best bull's family tree. A lot of things in ranching now didn't used to matter like embryo transplants EPD, prices, soar, chances, plumb
26501 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 30 Virginia Bennett You Probably Know This Guy He gets up in the mornin', way before dawn, feeds the wood heater, turns a pot of coffee on, tunes in the radio for the market report. he could stay in bed, but he's just not that sort. scramble eggs, cold air, hay, rancher, honest
26502 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 31 Virginia Bennett Dally And Me They had no way of knowin' what they were doin' that day. Those two boys outside the sale barn didn't know what they were givin' away. They had a box full of puppies, instincts, winter, survived, faithful dog, dreams
26503 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 32 Virginia Bennett The Auction They stand there placidly at the fence hardly anyone ever looks their way. Oh, once in awhile, some little girl pets their nosees, and offers them hay. They watch the cars and trucks pull in. witnesses, tractors, auctioneer, clover, dog
26504 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 33 Virginia Bennett Sometimes, He Just Wonders In the night, the pitch-dark night, as truck roll along the interstate, barbed-wire fence posts are illumined by a diesel's halogen lamp. And, two miles off the pavement, beacons, cigarette, hired, freedom
26505 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 37 Virginia Bennett Eduardo He followed cows (barefoot) down the stone-walled lane and he carried along a branch to prod the ones who'd lag. Driving them up Maestas Trail, spell, age, money, refused, heaven, flowers
26506 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 38 Virginia Bennett Subdivision Like a living, emerald wreath that wraps itself around a valley full of grasses where cows lie backside to the wind, the ponderosa forest stands Spanish style, FAX, pavement, resort, spring, fall
26507 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 40 Virginia Bennett Revenge In The Sangre De Cristos Senora Baca rocks in a weathered chair that has been repaired with glue and piano wire. and stares at the rocky Sangre de Cristos, glowing in the sunset like some funeral pyre. guiude, license, bloody, revenge
26508 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 41 Virginia Bennett La Empacadora The old man look back and slips the aged "M" into neutral as the day's sun grows dim. He mutters "cabrone" as he surveys the loose hay and nest of twine trailin behind him. trade, ball pein, cries, saints
26509 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 42 Virginia Bennett There In New Mexico If it's true a place can own you, can bottle-neck your memory, can funnel all your thinking into dreams of only there. And like ghosts, its people haunt you family, wilderness, outhouse, mail, viewpoint
26510 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 44 Virginia Bennett I Like To Think I Know The chinook wind that always comes and exhales it's warm breath slipping down from off of Oso Ridge to brush the bottomlands to toy with naked branches, pegeon, spy, heart, honest, El Grande
26511 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 47 Virginia Bennett The Electrician's Nightmare When two old friends are talking, there's no guessin' what'll be said. In the midset of their discussion, a joke might rear it's ugly head. And so, this is a true tale heater, died, muzzle, disease, grounded
26512 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 48 Virginia Bennett Night Watch When the full moon rises at Twin Springs and the night wind begins to howl. The coyotes tremble in fear of something both both friendly and foul. For something (or someone) lurks in the shadows football, gloom, poker, green eye, haunted, fun
26513 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 50 Virginia Bennett Beneath Her Windowsill In a one-room, bark-on cabin with stove wood stacked outside the door, a Coleman lamp swung from a beam in that camp perched on a hill. At a table, she sat reading. woodstove, tortured, scream, conceive
26514 Legacy Of The Land FC 11 B-72 52 Virginia Bennett For Grampa So, now it's come down to this: You live on in a picture on the wall. Tho' you died maybe 30 years ago, it doesn't seem that long at all. Not so long ago that my dad and I photograph, dry stone wall, trainer, share, impress