When it rains in Boston, the sidewalks reveal poetry Artists install a poem on a Boston sidewalk. (Mass Poetry)
When it rains in Boston, the sidewalks reveal poetry
Lexile

If you're walking through Boston during a downpour, make sure to keep your eyes on the pavement. You might just see a poem appear before your eyes. For nearly a year, Bostonians wandering the city streets in the rain may have come across poems. They are written on the sidewalk.
 
Titled "Raining Poetry," this art installation was a collaboration. It was between the nonprofit Mass Poetry and the city of Boston. The first poems were installed to commemorate the start of National Poetry Month. Several more were added since then. Created using stencils and a water-repellant spray, the poems are invisible during dry, sunny weather. But they appear like magic once raindrops start falling from the sky. That is according to Aria Bendix, who writes for CityLab.
 
"We want to bring poetry to the people," said Sara Siegel. She is program director for the nonprofit Mass Poetry, tells Bendix.
 
The poems were selected by Danielle Legros Georges. She is Boston's poet laureate. They include written works by artists like Langston Hughes, Gary Duehr, Barbara Helfgott Hyett and Elizabeth McKim. Scattered throughout the city, Georges selected the poems based on their relationship to Boston. Another factor was their general themes of water and rain. This is according to reporter Cristela Guerra. She works for the Boston Globe.
 
"I wanted to draw work from poets influential in the Boston-area literary, educational or cultural realms," Georges said in a statement.
 
The poems were installed by members of the Mayor's Mural Crew. It is an organization that introduces young artists to the process of creating public art. The Mural Crew uses a biodegradable spray and simple cardboard stencils. The poems can be fixed to the sidewalk in minutes. It should wear away in six to eight weeks. However, the city of Boston and Mass Poetry plan on carpeting city sidewalks with more poems.
 
"It's a public art project, as the poems are and will be installed in public sites in Boston, and meant for everyone," Georges said. "I think this is a wonderful way to bring poetry to the people."
 
The poems appear throughout the city. They are in neighborhoods from Hyde Park to Roslindale. While all of the poems currently installed are written in English, Siegel hopes to add new ones in the many languages that are spoken throughout Boston, like Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Spanish, Guerra reports.
 
"Our hope is in the next two years everyone in the state will encounter a poem in their daily lives at least once or twice a month," Siegel tells Guerra. "This a fun and unusual way to do that."
 
So if you're out and about in Beantown the next time it rains, keep an eye to the ground. You might just spot a poem glistening under the raindrops.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do the artists only want their poems to appear when it is raining?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (87)
  • tliam-dav
    3/31/2017 - 07:41 a.m.

    In response to "_When in rains in Boston, the Sidewalks reveal Poetry," I agree that adding poetry the city of Boston to incorporate poetry to people's
    lives is a fantastic idea. One reason I agree is that It will help incorporate poetry into people's everyday lives. Another reason is that they are working on writing these not just in English, but in Portuguese, Haitian, Creole, and Spanish. It says in the article "New ones spoken, like Portugeses, Haitian, Creole, and Spanish." A third reason I believe that this is a good idea because it may make people more happy showing happier poems. Even though I think
    this is a good idea I believe that they should start doing this in a lot more states besides Boston.

  • sterlingt-
    3/31/2017 - 08:34 a.m.

    who wrote the poems there on the side walk and why do it only reavels when it rain

  • natalies-
    3/31/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    They want their poems to only appear in the rain so they aren't there for people to see all of the time, so when they do see them it's a nice new poem to read.

  • kelliek-
    3/31/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    When people think of rain they think it's very gloomy and sad. The poems will bring happiness to they city and it's something unique about Boston.

  • devynm13-
    3/31/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    Artists only want their poems to appear when its raining because they want people to only see them once in a while, rather then all the time. Therefore, when people do actually see them, its fresh in their heads.

  • dejaunn-
    3/31/2017 - 08:39 a.m.

    Because if people see the poem while its raining they would be curious and wonder how its not wet.

  • kennyad-pay
    3/31/2017 - 09:48 a.m.

    I think that its cool that the people can do this. Its amazing how much work some one has to do to make this work. it would impress me how they can be so creative with a downfall and turn it into a beautiful and cheerful sight. If I were walking along the street and it was raining I would feel good. It would make me feel like there is good things in the rain. I like this form of art because alot of people get to see it and how people take the time out of their day to make someone smile by the art rain.I would love to try something like this one day.

  • ethanc1-bur
    3/31/2017 - 12:24 p.m.

    The reason they only wanted it to appear during rainfall was because they titled it "Raining Poetry" and they use stencils and water repellent sprays to create the magical illusion. I would expect them to be thoughtful because they could send a message to some people.

  • xavierg-bur
    3/31/2017 - 12:34 p.m.

    I think that the artist only wanted them to appear on the rain because they wanted a fun and unusual way to bring poetry to Boston. On Easter, my mom wanted a fun and unusual way to hide the Easter eggs so they hid them in the pool.

  • katherinel1-bur
    3/31/2017 - 12:35 p.m.

    I think the artists only want there poetry shown when it is raining because their poems are about water/rain. I know that our school's art club participated in a contest called "Chalktoberfest". They drew beautiful pictures on the street.

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