I am. I am. I am.

Three very distinct tattoos from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

Literary Tattoos: The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

This is Jude’s tattoo.

It is an anatomically correct heart with the words “I am. I am. I am.” pumping out. each “I am” is slightly bigger the the previous to symbolize the beating effect of the words at described in the book, The Bell Jar.

The words ” I am” can have any meaning, but the way I perceived such strong words were ” I am Here. I am Alive. I am Okay.”

Literary Tattoos: The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

This is Emma’s tattoo.

For me the quote means a lot and speaks a great deal to a very difficult time I recently went through when I was required to really look closely at who I am and who I want to be.  I love the definitive-ness of the idea. We are. Period. We exist and that means something. But the provisional nature of it is intriguing as well. Finish the phrase….I am….what? A mother? Flawed? Content with my life. You name it. There are lots of other elements to the piece that are all symbolic to me but not necessarily in a “literary” way.

The tattoo was done by the inimitable Alice Kendall at Infinity Tattoo in Portland, OR.

Literary Tattoos: The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

This one belongs to Maria Jose Montero.

For me it’s like a mantra, so I don’t forget that I am alive, I exist and I am me.

 

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.”

- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Comments

  1. Meredith says

    I have that Plath quote as well on my shoulder with a bell jar. The quote, if you look in the book, actually goes “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” Gotta double check those quotes before you get them tattooed!

    • says

      This argument has come up on the site before. This comment said it was \”bray\” first, and then changed to \”brag\”, and that different editions have different words. It\’s hard to find any reliable info about this online though. I\’m looking.

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