Write ’em Roughshod, by Peggy Godfrey

Review by Marcia Darnell

Poetry – December 1994 – Colorado Central Magazine

Write ’em Roughshod

by Peggy Godfrey

published in 1994 by MediaChaosBooks

available in local bookstores

and from the author,

19157 County Road 60, Moffat CO 81143

Lovers of Peggy Godfrey’s first book, Write ’em Cowboy (Peter Carlyle Elliot Publishing, Lake City) should consider themselves warned: This book is different.

Write ’em Cowboy celebrated the joys of the ranching life. Write ’em Roughshod touches on all aspects of life, on and off the ranch, with themes of work, faith, divorce and loss, love and outrage woven into the poetry and prose.

The book is subtitled Life ‘n Such Like, and just like life, it’s a roller-coaster ride of happiness and pain, gratitude and anger.

Godfrey opens the book with “Crocus,” an acknowledgement of her own late-bloomer career as a poet. Further introspection produces “Homes Need Sparkle” before the author returns to familiar turf with “Calvin’ and Lambin'” and “Mother Sounds.”

More traditional story-telling is offered in “Dog-Gone Luck” and “A Miracle.” Godfrey also proves proficient at prose with “The Real Question” and “Daisy’s Pups.”

Finally, for those who like their books with a dose of pain, there is “Two Bullets,” the final straw in a bad marriage, and “Julie Ann,” Godfrey’s moving tribute to her stillborn daughter.

The volume is a patchwork in prose and poetry of Godfrey’s reflections and experiences. Illustrations by Barbara Sibley of Saguache add softness and spirit to Godfrey’s lines.

Cowboy poetry has been good to Peggy Godfrey. Her work receives attention and publication nationwide. Invitations to perform have spread from Central Colorado to the entire southwest. She is a regular at Talking Gourds in Telluride and cowboy poetry gatherings at Prescott, Ariz., and Elko, Nev.

With Ride ’em Roughshod, Godfrey shows what she can do outside the cowboy arena. She is not bidding farewell to the genre, but she is drawing her readers into new territory. Certainly ranchers, conservationists by nature, can fully appreciate “Whoa, Now!” while anyone who has ever worked with other people will applaud “Classified.”

In her introduction, Godfrey writes, “This collection has been selected to express who I am, not just what I do.” In her exploring her own life, she gives readers a mirror in which to examine their own.

— Marcia Darnell