Wednesday, May 6, 2009

You'll Know You're Famous When Your Words are Carved in Stone

Every so often I like to take my country self into the city - Boston, that is - and tool around with my urban poet friends. On my last visit, as I walked into the Stony Brook stop on the orange line, I stopped to read words that I saw carved into a triangular granite pillar. I'd recently returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest, and I was still in tourist mode - stopping to look at and read everything.

I was expecting something historical, something mainstream and maintaining the status quo - such are the words I've often seen carved into rock. But these words were more lively: two poems, by Martin Espada and Rosario Morales told an alternate history of immigrants, injustice, and working class heritage.

Apparently there is literature carved into such stones all over Boston. Like this author, my friend and guide through Jamaica Plain had walked by these solid monuments to literature on a daily basis before noticing them. It always helps to see your own city through the eyes of a tourist.

Thanks to KL Pereira for the photos.


  1. Yay! My blindness is always there to teach. Great post Kat. Btw, check out my blog're quoted!

  2. William Stafford did a series for some stretch in Oregon. Another reason why I like him!