My writing friend Carolyn Howard-Johnson is celebrating Father's Day with poetry this year. This is how:
How about literature for Father’s Day instead of ties or dinner?
We know ties are a cliché and in a few years, Dad won’t remember one Father’s Day dinner from another. Let’s face it, not all literature is created equal, thus some books are just as fleeting, though most would be a step up from a gift certificate and certainly would help support the industry that we believe important for the future.
I’m proposing—selfishly—poetry. Frugally!
First, you may have never given your father, grandfather, or a favorite father figure in your life a book of poetry. Thus, it will be memorable.
A small book of poetry will also be flattering. He will appreciate being treated tenderly. In fact, present a small chapbook with a single rose or gladiolus spray. Who says that only women want romance and tenderness in their lives!
Some of the readers of this blog could easily write a poem—even if they don’t think poetry their forte. Print it out on some lineny paper and present it with any other gift you may be giving.
You might choose to tuck it inside the cover of the Chapbook Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions that Magdalena Ball and I wrote for our Celebration Series of chapbooks. Our idea for this series is to have small books written for those who prefer something a little a little more literary than the typical greeting card, but still accessible for those who didn’t study literature in school. And at an affordable price. With cover art (and sometimes interior art) chosen from among our circle of talented writing and artist friends.
Most of our booklets are $6.95. We now have one for mothers (She Wore Emerald Then: Reflections on Motherhood, www.budurl.com/MotherChapbook), one that says love (Cherished Pulse: Unconventional Love Poetry), and one for men and fathers (Imagining the Future). We’re working on one for Christmas (not the holidays, but Christmas). It will be called Blooming Red.
Think of your poetry presentation to Dad as a Father’s Day card; it costs little more than a really nice one. Or think of it as a tuck-in gift or a tie-on as part of the wrap. Any poetry book you choose can be made more personal if you tie in a little grosgrain or satin ribbon inside the crease of the book to be used as a bookmark.
And don’t forget the hug.
Here is a sample poem from Imagining the Future : It was originally published by Dash, a literary journal.
Long Before They Shut the Napster Down
my father collected blursounds
get out of town
downloaded into the night soft jazzy
lights, sweet pink smoke
the smell of Jack Daniel's hot
to real applause, nothing canned
found in the night a voice
like a staccato bass Wes Bowen
at KSL croons ella and shearing
at midnight to benefit a crowd
of one, alone at the wheel
lullaby of birdland
sweet humanbaby-whine of clarinets
and a moon
no electronic nothing
humthrum of base, brushswish metal on cymbals
tell you what it's all about
lucky to get it before they shut the music down
dispenser of joy, free of charge
cut me a rose
Happy Father's Day!