Hidden Poems on Boston’s Sidewalk Reveal When it Rains

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For the last few months, Boston’s local artists have been spray painting poetry onto concrete sidewalks using biodegradable, water-repellent paint. When sunny and dry, the letters remain invisible. But when it rains, the sidewalk darkens and words appear.

The project is a collaboration between Mass Poetry, a nonprofit organization that supports poetry across the state, and the city of Boston, and was started in April to commemorate the start of this year’s National Poetry Month. The poems selected for installation are connected to Boston as well as to the general themes of water and rain. Some of the poets whose works has been featured so far include Langston Hughes, Gary Duehr, Barbara Helfgott Hyett, and Elizabeth McKim.


The biodegradable spray wears off in six to eight weeks, so the city plans to keep installing newer poems as well as in more diverse areas. Mass Poetry also hopes to add poems in other languages that are spoken throughout Boston, like Portuguese, Haitian Creole and Spanish.

“We want to bring poetry to the people,” says Sara Siegel, the program director at Mass Poetry. “This is a fun, quirky way to do that.”





via Smithsonian

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