I had read articles about the Boston's rain poetry and immediately thought it was a brilliant idea. Most people don't like when it rains as can negatively affect their mood. Me, on the other hand, I love the rain! It is so relaxing to stay home and read a book during the rain, so when I heard about the project I thought it would be really cool to mesh poetry and the rain, and was excited to go on an excursion to find it.
My plan was to go to the one in front of the Dudley Cafe, and maybe grab a coffee as well! I then looked at the forecast to see when it would be raining, which was Sunday so I waited until then to go. I live with my mom here in Boston so we both decided to go on the adventure to o seek out some poetry. Sadly however, when we got out in the pouring rain, there was not poem! It was quite disappointing. So my mom and I decided to go into the cafe and ask one of the employees there if they know about it. The guy taking my order had no clue what I was talking about, but there was another girl working there that did. Luck was with me that day and she told me she had a picture on her phone! So I pleaded with her, telling her it was for a school assignment, if she could please send me the picture. And she did! I was so thankful! So I got my picture and my mom and I sat in the cafe listening to live music with some coffee while splitting a nice berry scone.
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It is quite hard to depict the poem from the picture but thanks to Google, figured it out. It is one by Langston Hughes called Still Here:
I been scared and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me,
Sun had baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done
Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!
I think it is such a wonderful poem. What it is saying is not matter how beaten or defeated we feel, you just have to keep on chugging! As long as your still here, you are enduring it and you are still alive, then you can make it through whatever it is that you are going through. People can try to know you down and keep you down, but its so important that you keep getting back up. You just have to not care what they think and know that you are stronger. I think it is a really powerful poem and was well placed. I am also an architecture major, so I have a habit of always paying extra attention to the city, the buildings and the people around me and it is easy to tell that it is not like the rest of Boston. Some of the buildings were old and quite worn down. In my architecture history and urban sociology classes, we have also talked about neighborhoods like Roxbury, Dorchester and even the area around Dudley Square, because of the minorities that live there. It has especially been a cultural hub for African Americans. It is a very sad situation, but due to things like redlining, upward mobility is difficult for a lot of these people and they often feel stuck or defeated. This is why a Langston Hughes poem is so fitting because besides his literary work, he was a big social advocate fighting for equality during segregation. So hopefully when people from all walks of life see that poem when their spirits might be down, hopeful reading it will lift there spirits back up. Even though I was not feeling down at the moment and read it on a computer screen on a bright sunny day, I was taken a bit back by the simple yet powerful poem.