This SC city has hidden ‘rain poems’ popping up all over town

(Source: Madeline Cuddihy/WIS)
(Source: Madeline Cuddihy/WIS)
Updated: Jan. 17, 2019 at 4:16 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Now you don’t see them - now you do!

Through the rainy months of Columbia you might have noticed something popping up beneath your feet on the way to work, school or just grabbing a coffee. No, you’re not crazy - invisible rain poems have taken over the Columbia city center area.

The initiative was the combined dream of by poet laureate for the city of Columbia Ed Madden, and Executive Director of “One Columbia” Lee Snelgrove, sought to bring the magic of poetry to the city in an unusual way.

“We specifically have tried to think about the ways in which we can make literary art, public art, specifically, the ways we can insert poetry in everyday life," Madden said.

The poems, written by local South Carolina artists and students, are indicative of the various areas in which they reside - and give voice to the amazing poetry community the area has to offer.

Madden said he and Snelgrove worked hard to make the poems - “every stencil took 8 to12 hours."

And how they made it magical?

“The paint is a hydrophobic paint – so waterproof and invisible. So we’d spray paint it on the stencil and we used cardboard so it will absorb the paint," Madden said.

The poems should last a few weeks - even months depends on the foot traffic of the area. Most of the poems can be found in the downtown Columbia area - a handy map is also available for those who don’t want to wait until the next rainfall to see the magic happen.

Map of Rain Poems
Map of Rain Poems

Snelgrove said he’s excited about the prospect of people continuing to find and post pictures of their art adventures.

“It is all about that discovery – that you might be walking to lunch and encounter one of these poems, or going between classes.”

If you find a poem, tag us on Instagram and you might see your photo featured on our heed.

Happy poem hunting!

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