Poetry International Poetry International


Dichtregel Ilya Kaminsky op vuilniswagen

June 07, 2022

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Vuilniswagen met een eerdere regel, van Sergio Raimondi

Every Rotterdammer knows them: the lines of poetry on the sides of the sweepers and garbage trucks of the Maas City. On Saturday, June 11, a line of poetry by the Ukrainian poet Ilya Kaminsky has been added to the fleet of Stadsbeheer Rotterdam. The line "The sounds we do not hear lifts the gulls from the water" was revealed by Kaminsky himself. For the first time in the history of 'Het gedicht is een bericht' (The poem is a message) a line of poetry has been placed on the truck in both Dutch and English. In this way 'Het gedicht is een bericht' will also appeal to non-Dutch speaking Rotterdammers and guests in the city. You are welcome to attend the unveiling, Saturday 11 June, 13:30 at the waterfront of the Rijnhaven near festival location LantarenVenster. 

For over thirty years, the City Council wagons have not only been collecting garbage or sweeping the Binnenrotte after the market, they have also been bringing the most beautiful poetry into the homes of Rotterdammers. The lines of poetry on the wagons of Stadsbeheer are derived from the poetry of poets who perform annually at the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam. 'The poem is a message' as the collaboration between the municipality and Poetry International is called, has existed since 1988 (so 35 years in 2023). The collaboration takes its name from the poem of the same name by Rotterdam poet Jules Deelder, who died in 2019; in 1988 it was the first line of poetry to travel through the city on a garbage truck.


Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère