Raining poetry

Aria Bendix at CityLab writes on Boston’s new poetry initiative. It’s ingenious. Poetry is applied to sidewalks around the city with a biodegradable, water-activated spray paint. When it rains, the sidewalks share their poems:

Thanks to a partnership between Boston’s City Hall and Mass Poetry, a nonprofit that supports the Massachusetts poetry community, the city’s showers are being transformed into a hidden art project.

The project, appropriately titled “Raining Poetry,” uses biodegradable water-repellent spray to stencil poems on Boston’s concrete streets. On a sunny day, the letters remain invisible. But once water hits them, the words of famous poets suddenly reveal themselves to unsuspecting passersby. …

It’s also a chance to expose Boston residents to the rich history of their city, which was once home to poets like Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, and e. e. cummings. Indeed, what better way to honor Boston’s literary greats than to look to their words as cures for a gloomy day?

This is the sort of thing that can enchant a city or town, adding a spirit of magic to a place that gives rise to a lifetime of affection—helping the resident know his home better, with the words of the long-forgotten appearing once more, just as much as it forms a bond for the visitor, who will leave with a fresh idea in her mind of the place she expected to visit for only a weekend, but that now will come back to her in memory again and again even after a wet and perhaps dismal visit.