This awesome tattoo belongs to Molly:
This tattoo was inspired by a trip to Bread Loaf this summer, where I studied poetry with Ellen Bryant Voigt. I have always admired the ways we can re-imagine poems outside of typical lineation, how poems can become sculptures and books can be objects of art with textures and breath. A bit of fortune converged with my desire: I have a dear friend in my MFA program whose husband happens to be a tattoo artist, and that husband just so wanted to spend some time on a letterpress, and I had just acquired a Kelsey platen press. A trade was proposed, and Shawn designed the whole thing with wings in mind, something that would also resemble lungs and breathing and the lift of freedom at the end of Sharon Olds‘ oft-studied “I Go Back to May 1937.” The poem is there, on my arm, in its entirety. Olds is my most beloved living poet, and this poem speaks to me with my own work–taking life experiences and professing: “Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.” Olds once said that poetry comes out of her lungs, and now I have this reminder, this collection of gorgeous language, that tells me again and again: don’t forget to breathe, don’t forget who you are.
You can view Molly’s Flickr set for more pictures of the tattoo’s progress.
The tattoo was done by Shawn Hebrank of Identity Tattoo in Maplewood, Minnesota.