Charles Badger Clark

(1883 - 1957 / Albia, Iowa)

Biography of Charles Badger Clark

Charles Badger Clark poet

Charles Badger Clark (January 1, 1883 – September 26, 1957) was an American poet.
Charles Badger Clark was born on January 1, 1883 in Albia, Iowa. His family moved to Dakota Territory, where his father served as a Methodist preacher in Huron, Mitchell, Deadwood and Hot Springs. He dropped out of Dakota Wesleyan University after he clashed with one of its founders, C.B. Clark. He travelled to Cuba, returned to Deadwood, South Dakota, where he contracted tuberculosis, then moved to Tombstone, Arizona to assuage his illness with the dry weather. He returned again to South Dakota in 1910 to take care of his ailing father. There, he contracted tuberculosis. In 1925, he moved to a cabin in Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where he lived for thirty years.
In 1937, he was named the Poet Laureate of South Dakota by Governor Leslie Jensen. His work was published in Sunset Magazine, Pacific Monthly, Arizona Highways, Colliers, Century Magazine, the Rotarian, and Scribner's.
He died on September 26, 1957.
His poem entitled 'Lead by America' was performed by the Fred Waring Chorus in 1957. In 1969, Bob Dylan recorded 'Spanish is the Loving Tongue'. In America by Heart, Sarah Palin quotes his poem entitled 'A Cowboy's Prayer' as one of the prayers she likes to say.

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The Old Cow Man

I rode across a valley range
I hadn't seen for years.
The trail was all so spoilt and strange
It nearly fetched the tears.
I had to let ten fences down
(The fussy lanes ran wrong)
And each new line would make me frown
And hum a mournin' song.
Oh, it's squeak! squeak! squeak!

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