Welcome to the One Page Poetry Circle at St. Agnes Branch Library!
Cowboy poetry (October’s theme) originated with ad-libbed poems and lyrics about ranch life and what it meant to drive cattle across the country. Many of us grew up in the 50s with singing cowboys and cowgirls like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and Burl Ives who serenaded us through our TVs and radios. The tradition of exploring the cowboy life through poetry is very much alive today. While researching Cowboy poetry, we discovered Everything in this Song Is True (2018) on Amazon Prime, a film about modern cowboys who write poetry. There are also websites devoted to cowboy poetry.

Here’s an excerpt from “Homestead” by cowboy poet LaVerna Johnson, performed at a recent Durango Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering:

We hear calls of cattle lowing, voices carry on the breeze
As it wanders down the canyon, then meanders through the trees.
While we stop to smell the sage, light shimmers “quakie’s” golden leave,
And it sure feels good to be back home again.

One of the most famous traditional cowboy poems, the “Cowboy’s Lament,” tells the tale of one cowboy related by another:

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a poor cowboy, all wrapped in white linen
All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay.

We’d love to hear from you. Just click the speech balloon next to the title of this blog post to put up your favorite Cowboy poem or add to the discussion. For inspiration browse the poetry section at your branch library or check out these and other online resources, Poetry Foundation or poets.org.

Fall 2018 Schedule
Tuesday, October 9, Cowboy Poetry
Tuesday, November 13, Poetry and Simplicity
Tuesday, December 11, Poetry and Wine  

Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Place: St. Agnes Branch Library, 444 Amsterdam Ave. (81st, 3rd Fl.) 

Abigail Burnham Bloom and
AnnaLee Wilson

The One Page Poetry Circle is sponsored by the New York Public Library and is open to all. St. Agnes Branch Library is handicap accessible.