Poets’ Corner: Art For Father’s Day

How did Father’s Day come about?

According to history.com, during the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday, Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park–a public reminder, said Parents’ Day activist and radio performer Robert Spere, “that both parents should be loved and respected together.” Paradoxically, however, the Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.

In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last. Today, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.

Below Art Goodtimes, a father and poet, shares his thoughts about being a father – with his son. 

Art Goodtimes

Art Goodtimes

Bambino

-for Gorio, my not-so-little Leo

First break a thumb

Like father. Like son

To learn the flute’s

fragile music of bone

remember the body’s

an instrument of wind

Nerves & tendons

Strings & drums

Around each curve’s

a tarantella with chance

Never the same old

song & dance

Embrace & make it

new enough for now

Don’t grow up

But know up & down

Graduation is overdone

& the world is underserved

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