Which U.S. City Cares the Most about Poetry?

A 2016 public art initiative is bringing poetry to the streets of Boston -- all you have to do is add water. To mark National Poetry Month, a project called “Raining Poetry” brought verse to the sidewalks of the city in the form of poems written with temporary water-repelling paint. The poems are invisible on dry, sunny days but show up when raindrops are falling. Scattered around the city, the poems all have general themes of water and rain, and are of some significance to Boston.

A poem appears before your eyes:

  • The poems include works by poets Langston Hughes, Gary Duehr, Barbara Helfgott Hyett, and Elizabeth McKim.

  • The sidewalk poets use biodegradable spray paint and simple cardboard stencils in a process that takes just minutes to apply. The poems typically wash away in six to eight weeks.

  • The project was so well received that members of Mass Poetry want to branch out with water-activated verse in languages other than English.

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