Boston’s Sidewalks Are Covered In Secret Poems

You can only see them when it rains.

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Clouds usually spell bad news for pedestrians. But for frequenters of some lucky Boston sidewalks, a shower uncovers a secret—a poem, stenciled in waterproof paint and revealed by the rain as if by magic.

“Raining Poetry,” a collaboration between City Hall and the nonprofit Mass Poetry, is slowly bringing secret art to the streets. Langston Hughes hides outside an unassuming cafe in Dudley Square. Local poet Barbara Helfgott Hyett whispers in Roslindale.

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Members of the Mayor’s Mural Crew, a city-sponsored youth group that helps to create public art, have been installing the poems in batches since the first day of April. Photos from this weekend show two crew members spray painting their creations on dry sidewalks, and then testing them out via controlled splash.

Currently, there are poems hiding in various parts of the city—on busy Park Street, at a hopping Roslindale intersection, and outside the historic Strand theater in Uphams Corner, to name a few. Organizers plan keep adding more, and in more languages. “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,” Sara Siegel, Mass Poetry’s program director, told the Globe.

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So next time Boston rains all over your parade, make sure to look down. You might see a poem beaming back up at you.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles tocara@atlasobscura.com.

 

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