When it’s raining, everyone is in a rush to get where they are going as quickly as possible. In Boston, Massachusetts however, many sidewalks are beaming with poetry in the rain. In honor of National Poetry Month, Mass Poetry, in partnership with The City of Boston, presented Raining Poetry.
Using a biodegradable water-repellent spray and stencils made by local artists, the city’s Mural Crew placed poems throughout the streets of Boston. The spray vanishes once dry, making the poems invisible – until it rains that is. Once wet, the area around the poems will darken, and as Bostonians walked around the city, they were treated to short poems by Langston Hughes, Gary Duehr, Barbara Helfgott Hyett and Elizabeth McKim. Boston’s Poet Laureate, Danielle Georges, selected four poems for the initial art installation, including three by Massachusetts poets.
According to their website, Mass Poetry was founded in 2009, after Mass Humanities and the Mass Cultural Council backed an effort to investigate the “state of poetry” in Massachusetts. Mass Poetry’s founder, Michael Ansara, and former Congressman Chet Atkins felt that while the Commonwealth has as many talented poets as any state, there was little recognition or support for poets and a huge disconnect between the larger public and the wealth of poetic talent.
If you’re ever in the Boston, Massachusetts area, especially when it rains, be sure to check out Raining Poetry! How poetically mysterious!