When rain falls, these lines aim to brighten your day

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/05/27/when-rain-falls-these-lines-aim-to-brighten-your-day/

BOSTON – When the sun doesn’t shine and rain tumbles down, the gloom may now be brightened for some Bostonians by the recently unveiled “Raining Poetry” series of public art installations that reveal lines of verse on wet sidewalks.

The displays are the work of the city’s Arts and Culture office in partnership with the Public Art Commission and Mass Poetry, a nonprofit organization that supports the art form in the state.

“Raining Poetry is a great example of a unique installation that showcases the work of local poets in a way that is engaging and creative, offering passersby the chance to catch a piece of poetry hidden in plain sight,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement.

By using a biodegradable, water-repellent spray that vanishes when it dries, the lines of verse can’t be seen until the sidewalk gets wet. Then as the area around the poem darkens, the lines become visible.

The water-repellent spray wears off in six to eight weeks. But more poems will be stenciled on sidewalks around the city over the coming months, including verse written in Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole in certain neighborhoods.

To date, the City’s Mural Crew has installed four poems by writers with Massachusetts ties, including “Still Here” by Langston Hughes in Dudley Square and untitled works by Gary Duehr in Upham’s Corner, Barbara Helfgott Hyett in Roslindale’s Adams Park and Elizabeth McKim by the Hyde Park Public Library.

The initial selections were made by Boston’s Poet Laureate, Danielle Georges, according to a statement from Walsh’s office.

“Mass Poetry strives to bring poetry to the public, and Raining Poetry is a fun, unique way to do that,” Sara Siegel, Mass Poetry’s program director, said in a statement. “We hope that finding a hidden poem on the sidewalk will brighten a dreary day.”