The Battery Park City Authority and Poets House are partnering with Lower Manhattan schools to put odes on the roads.
And today is the perfect day for it!
The “Raining Poetry” program inscribes evocative excerpts from poets such as Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and U.S. Poet Laureate (also Pulitzer Prize winner) Tracy K. Smith on 15 sidewalks around the community, using biodegradable, water-repellant spray-on stencils.
Then, on rainy days like today, throughout the spring, summer, and fall, the texts will appear. Also included will be fragments of verse authored by students at local schools.
“Serendipitous encounters with poems are made easy with the model developed by Mass Poetry in Boston” explains Abby Ehrlich, the Authority’s director of community partnerships and engagement. “Poetry appeals in part because it changes with the times has few fixed rules, and enriches experiences.
A young P.S. 89 student in ‘My Old Moon,’ for example, remarks on the great sight of bright moonlight in the park, but also misses the moonlight in the town he left. At its best, poetry is a companion and has the ability to connect us.”