Who or what is a Cowboy Poet? Remembering back to my youthful conversations with The Badger, this might be the answer:
There are only two authentic varieties. You are a cowboy poet only if:
you are actually a cowboy and a poet (regardless of poetic style)…the emphasis is on your profession, or
you may or may not actually be a cowboy but write true cowboy poetry…the emphasis is on the genre.
One who does not qualify as a cowboy poet might better be called a western poet, a generic designation which has no historic or traditional form.
Badger Clark qualified as a cowboy poet in both categories. He was an Arizona cowboy for four years and, overall, his poems were true to the tradition of cowboy poetry as to theme, rhyme, and meter.