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-The Queen of the Quill
Title: Sky Lines and Woodsmoke
Author: Badger Clark
Royal crowns: 5/5
As the first Poet Laureate of South Dakota Badger Clark absolutely defines the romance and atmosphere of the Black Hills. Born Charles Badger Clark in 1883 to a minister and his wife in Albia, Iowa. The family moved to Dakota Territory while Badger was a baby. There he lived until he contracted tuberculosis, at which point he moved to Arizona to take advantage of the dry climate. While in Arizona, Badger Clark found work as a cowboy. These experiences remained with him when he was called home to South Dakota due to his father's ill health.
Badger Clark settled in to South Dakota, building a cabin on land leased from Custer State Park for $10. This was a temporary home while he built his new home nearby. It took him five years, but he completed the job with his own labor. All the while he wrote poetry.
The subject of his poems range from the cowboy trail to the nature of God to love. I will be the first to admit that I don't know much about poetry, and I also don't read much. Poetry has never been something that I sit down to enjoy in my free time. That all changed when I encountered Badger Clark's poetry. His command of language is amazing. The way he evokes the images of the Black Hills of South Dakota moved me. I felt joy and elation while reading. He transported me to a different place, a place I love to be, but only get to visit on rare occasions.
If one has never been to the Black Hills, Clark's poetry will open a burning desire within you to see what this amazing place is all about. If you have been to the Black Hills, Clark's poetry will bring you there in your mind's eye.
I highly recommend this book, and all of Clark's poetry. For more information visit the Badger Clark Memorial Society website: http://www.badgerclark.org/
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