Last updated 4 weeks ago by Sarah Chebaro
Let’s take a walk down the cobbled streets of Utrecht where words are engraved into the stones. It is a beautiful approach towards literacy and giving the future generations something to be a part of. The beauty is within words, written by poets. Letters of Utrecht is a project that will last forever. Everyone can be a part of it. It can be looked at as the poem for the future.
Never ending poem
There is a beginning but there is no end. The beauty about the Letters of Utrecht is it is never finished, as long as it is supported by the people. It was uncovered to the public on June 2 2012, starting on Oudegracht 279. The poem technically starts on New Years day of 2000, as the date is easily remembered by the public. May 30th and 31st were the days when the first 648 characters were engraved into the stones and placed in the street. From June 2nd, 2012 the next character was shaped into the next stone. Every Saturday, at 2pm people gathered to watch the stone mason carve the letter.
A logical placement
The right environment helps with the longevity of a project. Many of Utrecht’s streets carry a lot of history. The south part of the Oudegracht was dug in 1122. The poem begins on the west of the Oudegracht. Although the future is never a guarantee, especially to the environment. Things change as time passes by. The poem will grow with hope that the old part of Utrecht will be preserved along with it. The west of Oudegracht is the logical placement to start the poem as it is safe for the readers, not as crowded and easily accessible (especially for the tourists). If the poem continues into the year 2080, it would reach the Ledig Erf, the structure of the street.
The rest of the poem remains a secret
The poem itself is kept a secret for the reason that no one knows what the future brings. When a person contributes a letter it is added to the word. In a year the poem reaches seven meters. In three years a sentence will emerge. The Utrecht Poets Guild is responsible for the content of the poem. As time ticks by letters are added to the poem in the ground. As we grow, and change, the poem grows with us. It is captured in a stone and gives the future a past. It is a contribution of € 100 per letter. Part of it will be donated to charity for preservation of civilization.
Source: De Letters Van Utrecht