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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
4902 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 21 John Sterling Harris Daddy Long Legs I cannot tolerate a spider. spiders, insect, insects
4903 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 23 John Sterling Harris Mercur, Utah Six thousand men sunk shafts. mining, mine, tailings
4904 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 24 John Sterling Harris The Gate She heard her brother's horse outside. gate, fences, barbed wire, fence, prisoner, locked in, sister, brother, ranch, home, woman, man, female
4905 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 28 John Sterling Harris Notes on Infantry Weapons I sing of arms and the man. M1 rifle, gun, artillery, flame thrower, machine gun, M16,grenade, rocket launcher, war, carbine
4906 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 33 John Sterling Harris Tag, I.D. Bright oval on a light chain. dogtag, dog tag, tags, identification
4907 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 67 John Sterling Harris The Assassination of Emma Gray Old Jerome, as the local story goes. pig, slaughter, meat, pork, bacon, food, animals, affection
4908 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 66 John Sterling Harris Horned Toad A reptilian rigidity that feigns death. rattlesnake, snake, reptile, revenge
4909 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 65 John Sterling Harris Canticle One Thy Word is like a date tree in the wilderness. god, belief
4910 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 63 John Sterling Harris Incident in the Ice Cream Parlor They sat there. people, food
4911 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 62 John Sterling Harris Vulnerability The underside of love. love, insecurity
4912 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 60 John Sterling Harris Ice Crystals I climbed the north slope. nature
4913 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 58 John Sterling Harris Hackamore McClovio it was who showed me how to weave the strands. rawhide braiding, knots, equipment
4914 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 56 John Sterling Harris Tack Room Wide cracks in shrunken boards let the sun into darkness. harness, saddle, equipment
4915 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 54 John Sterling Harris Canticle Two Praise unto the Lord. god, belief
4916 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 53 John Sterling Harris Teleology A solitary man lives. god, man, belief, loneliness, virtue
4917 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 51 John Sterling Harris Juniper Trees They try to put on airs with the name. cedar, fence, fencing, posts
4918 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 46 John Sterling Harris Fallow She eased herself into the bed beside him. pregnancy, heirs, children, child, baby, motherhood, wife, husband, sex, fertility, infertility, barren, childless
4919 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 44 John Sterling Harris Populus Tremulus The aspen knows its place. trees
4920 Barbed Wire FC 11 H-08 35 John Sterling Harris The Whittler Don't spoil it, I tell you. stories, storyteller, storytelling, character, irrigation, irrigating, water, dam, dog, nickels
4921 The Modern Cowboy FC 11 E-07 John R. Erickson The Modern Cowboy not a poem or poetry, illustrations, essays on cowboy life, this copy is autographed by author
4922 Pinto Ben and Other Stories William S. & Mary Hart FC 11 H-09 23 William Surrey Hart Pinto Ben: A Story in Verse Eastern folks called it a tragedy story, an' tragedy it rides herd on me; fer I know'd Ben, that cow-pony, an' that pink-nosed Pinto know'd me.
4923 Night Herding Song FC 11 H-10 7 Gerald Hausman Night Herding Song Big horse in the meadow. sleep
4924 Night Herding Song FC 11 H-10 8 Gerald Hausman Prayer for Red Meat One night, when Old Moon was a bone awl. dream, hunger
4925 Night Herding Song FC 11 H-10 9 Gerald Hausman The Travelers When I arrived at his home. friendship, hospitality, memories, regret
4926 Night Herding Song FC 11 H-10 11 Gerald Hausman For Rainey, Alone on the Farm in Autumn When you came last fall and said. relationships, relationship, tears, saw, trees