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 written on the sidewalk.
 
Titled "Raining Poetry," this art installation was a collaboration 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 to the city's streets. Created using stencils and a water-repellant spray, the poems are invisible during dry, sunny weather, but appear like magic once raindrops start falling from the sky, Aria Bendix writes for CityLab.
 
"We want to bring poetry to the people," Sara Siegel, program director for the nonprofit Mass Poetry, tells Bendix.
 
The poems were selected by Danielle Legros Georges, 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, as well as the general themes of water and rain. This is according to reporter Cristela Guerra 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 (21)
  • antonioc1222-
    3/31/2017 - 08:32 a.m.

    It may be because they want to express how they feel.

  • keasiak-bur
    3/31/2017 - 09:23 p.m.

    The reasons that the artist only want their poems to appear when it's raining is because it's a wonderful way to bring poetry to the people. I think artist only want their poems to appear when it's raining is because it's a creative way to express art.

  • brycew-orv
    4/01/2017 - 01:26 p.m.

    Because it is different

  • jacquelynt-
    4/03/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    When its raining people are not really all that happy so maybe they think having a poem to read my be a way to lighten people sprites

  • kimberlyc-
    4/03/2017 - 08:38 a.m.

    the artist wants the poem to appear when it's raining because the poems has to do with rain and it's a cool and unusual way to showcase a poem.

  • graceb2-har
    4/04/2017 - 10:35 a.m.

    Artists only want their poems to appear when it is raining because some people think that rain makes people feel sadder than they feel when it is sunny outside. The poems were put on the pavement for lightening people's spirits when they might be sad, or just having a bad day, the rain not making it any better.

  • Gracied
    4/04/2017 - 03:02 p.m.

    They want to have a more creative and interesting way to express there poetry. When a person is walking on a regular day, they want them to say, "Wow, that is incredible." Our world today is coming up with so much new technology so why not fresh ways to express poetry?

  • Madelynp
    4/04/2017 - 03:06 p.m.

    I believe that the artists of the poems only wanted the poems to appear during the rain because people generally look down if it is raining. This may seem like a stupid reason, but if you think about it.... It's a great idea! A person wouldn't want to look up if rain was pouring down. Not only is this a very unique and brilliant idea, but it could also inspire many people in wonderful ways. Someone could be having a terrible day, and he/she looks down and sees a beautiful poem. This person could stop and be truly inspired by the spectacular work of art. The poem could be about something that someone is really worrying over, and if this person reads the poem, they could find the answer to his/her problem. This could help tons of people!

  • saraip-
    4/05/2017 - 08:43 a.m.

    I really like the idea about the whole poem in the rain because I think it would make being in the rain fun instead of jumping in the rain puddles and it is a idea because you can learn something new in the rain like learn new poems and stuff and how to write them.

  • emmah11-har
    4/06/2017 - 05:12 p.m.

    The artists only want their poems to appear when it is raining because they want to brighten the day of someone walking outside in rainy weather. Think about it. If you were having a ok day, and then the sky turned overcast started to rain. If people could read inspirational art, or poems on a bad day, it would brighten their days. Danny Lewis, author of “When it rains in Boston, the sidewalks reveal poetry”, states that, “Created using stencils and a water-repellant spray, the poems are invisible during dry, sunny weather, but appear like magic once raindrops start falling from the sky, Aria Bendix writes for CityLab” (paragraph 2). This quote proves that the artists only wanted people to see the poems when it is raining, because most people are happy on a dry, sunny day and don’t need something extra to brighten their day. The artists in Boston are looking out for people in the area, while still voicing their passion in poetry to everyone.

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