Hidden street poems are ready for readings in the rain

COLUMBIA — If you don’t usually go walking in the rain, you might want to make an exception.

Sidewalks in downtown Columbia have been decorated with hidden poetry, and, because the poems are painted on walkways with a clear water repellent spray, the words are only visible when the sidewalk gets wet.

The hidden poems, aptly called “raining poetry,” were placed by staff members at The Missouri Review, a literary magazine, in an effort to remind people of the purpose of the magazine and encourage enthusiasm for literature. In all, there are nine poems spray-painted around Columbia. The locations of the hidden poetry sites will be revealed, starting Thursday, through a live streaming event on The District’s Facebook page.

Each poem is matched to a location that connects in some way to the poem’s words or meaning. For instance, a poem outside of Hitt Records written by Victor Hernandez Cruz reads: “A piano is talking to you, thru all this, why don’t you answer it?”

Kyle Cook, co-owner of Hitt Records, said the hidden poetry is an effective marketing tool for local stores as well as a good campaign for the community.

“I am sure that it is going to make people stop right there in front of the store,” he said.


Supervising editor is Allison Colburn.

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