Gedicht Remco Ekkers

First word

Whoever enters the Central Hall of Rengerslaan 8 at our Leeuwarden location, cannot help but to encounter the touching poem by Remco Ekkers. In prominent yellow lines his work ‘First word’ can be read. Those who pay close attention will notice a deeper meaning momentarily.

“The poem originated from my primary-school memories,” Ekkers explains. “Language is essential to people. When you start to understand the building blocks of language, you can make words: like m-a-t, p-u-t, and d-oo-r. Language offers a wealth of building blocks.”

Remco Ekkers was a lecturer in Dutch and Dramaturgy at the teacher training programme Ubbo Emmius, one of NHL Stenden’s precursors. His interest in literature was piqued at a young age. In addition to being a poet, Ekkers also wrote novels and children’s books. In 2018, he was on the jury of the P.C. Hooft award. Ekkers now teaches at the Schrijversvakschool in Groningen. 

First word

My first word was m-a-t

It was in the first year classroom

Right next to the thing itself.

Later I noticed d-oo-r.


You could go outside

and the words would be gone

but their shapes still floated

around in my mind.


I learned that the letters

of the word free

could flap around

but these stayed together.


Until I’d given a name

to almost every

things in the classroom.

The window opened then.

Are you curious to read more of Ekkers’ work?

A selection from his work can be found on Ekkers’ website.