When it rains in Boston, the sidewalks reveal poetry
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
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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.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/when-it-rains-boston-sidewalks-reveal-poetry/

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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 (98)
  • nathanm14-ste
    3/31/2017 - 01:02 p.m.

    Well this is something different. When it rains around here i don't see anything. I suppose for those people which rain makes sad, this is a good thing. I hate poetry so it wouldn't matter much to me.

  • matteor-
    3/31/2017 - 01:07 p.m.

    This is Awesome

  • anastasiag-kut
    4/02/2017 - 12:57 p.m.

    I love poetry. I find it amazing that someone takes their time to write poetry on the sidewalks for other people to read. I would love to go to Boston and see the poetry one day.

  • ljadyn-dav
    4/02/2017 - 04:18 p.m.

    In response to "why do the artists only want their poems to appear when it rains?" I think that they want people to look forward to rain and understand that everything in life can be beautiful. In the article it says," we want to bring poetry into the people". I also think that they are trying to better educate people in the world of literature. "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." Even though this could be costly I think that they should pursue it further and try different languages like they said in the article, "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.", By doing this great act we can introduce more people into the wonder and beauty of poetry.

  • joeyh-
    4/03/2017 - 08:39 a.m.

    Having other poems puts the risk for other people who are not verified with the non-profit to write poems that are inappropriate. This may make the city decide that the collaboration isn't a good idea.

  • jadenn-pay
    4/03/2017 - 10:17 a.m.

    Artist want there poem to be visible when it rains for several reasons. One of the same reasons is it will have a deeper effect and toll on the person. By doing this it will just be more exciting and more people will be willing to see it.

  • kemblya-
    4/03/2017 - 12:58 p.m.

    Well when it rains sometimes you get kinda sad or depressed so when you read it you'll get happier

  • brandona52163-
    4/03/2017 - 12:59 p.m.

    When it rains they still want to be happy.

  • aidenj57-
    4/04/2017 - 08:32 a.m.

    to make people happy and not sad when it rains

  • jaket-
    4/04/2017 - 08:33 a.m.

    i cannot believe that writings were being found in boston form, the rain

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