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Cambridge knows how to make artists feel welcome, even cherished. Recently the city had a poetry contest, and the winners are getting their poems embedded in the sidewalk.

Steve Annear writes at the Boston Globe, “Cambridge officials received hundreds of submissions from residents hoping to make their mark as literary legends through the city’s first-ever ‘Sidewalk Poetry’ contest this spring. In the end, only five scribes emerged victorious.

“In March, the city put out a call for poets to participate in the project. Winners were promised a permanent display space for their musings — the poems would be imprinted in the freshly poured concrete as Department of Public Works crews replaced sidewalk slabs cracked or damaged during the winter.

“The response was great, said Molly Akin, the Cambridge Arts Council’s marketing director. More than 300 submissions flooded in from writers ranging in age from 4 to 95, according to organizers.

“A special committee that included workers from the [Department of Public Works], representatives from the local libraries, members of the Arts Council, and Cambridge’s former Poet Populists helped select the finalists. …

“Below are the names of the winners, and their poems:

Rose Breslin Blake
Children, look up
Cherish those clouds
Ride grey ponies over their hills
Feed the shiny fish
Boo the big bear
Chase the gloomy giant
Giggle with the geese
Sing with the lambs
Cherish those clouds; they cherish you
Rest on their pillows.

Benjamin Grimm
I could not forget you if I tried.
I have tried.

Ty Muto
Your blue-green glances
My heart skips double dutch beats
Caught in your rhythm

Carolyn Russell Stonewell
Sun takes a bite of
mango as it sets.
Its last rays
run down my cheek.

Elissa Warner
A Mother’s Wish
Little boys, little treasures
Shine like lights from above
My son, my only one
My wish for you is that you wake
One day when you are old
And feel raindrops on your cheek
Tears of joy from my heart
For you to keep

More here.

Photo: Cambridge Arts Council

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