On Thursday, French poet Patrick Huet unrolled nearly a kilometer of specially crafted material on which he had scribed his latest poem – Pieces of Hope to the Echo of the World. It was the first official measurement of Huet”s poem, an incident he describes in his blog. Huet”s intent was to write the world”s longest poem – and make it into the Guiness Book of Records. The official measuring took place August 4th at a race track in Champier dans l”Isere in France. Preparations for the unveiling were started well in advance, as reported in The Guardian Unlimited on the 4th of July. Huet promised then that it would be something else, and judging from his account on his blog, it certainly was.
Titling his report of the event “An Epic Work”, he begins (in French, and it is a thoroughly enjoyable read):
Instead of the crystal skies and radiant sun that I”d hoped for, furious wind squalls and buckets of water seized the race track where the official measurement of of my immense poem was being taken.
He goes on to recount the two hour struggle – aided by a tractor – to unroll the enormous roll of paper on which the poem had been inscribed, quipping that for the first time in his life he was seasick without ever leaving solid earth.
The things poets go through to realize their dreams! This is not Huet”s first long poem. He”s previously written three others – 14 meters, 66 meters and 72 meters respectively. All are available for display at events or for photo ops. His dream, he says, is to display them on the Great Wall of China. Huet, by the way, underestimated the length of his poem. In an entry two weeks ago, he estimated its length at 970 meters. The official measurement? 994 metres et 10 centimetres. That”s one big poem… and just what you get for dreaming big.
By the way, if anyone has any connections at the Great Wall of China, you can reach Patrick through the telephone number listed in his blog. We wish him all the luck in the world in making his dream come true.