I exist as I am

Literary Tattoos: Walt Whitman Song of Myself Literary Tattoos: Walt Whitman Song of Myself

This is Geneva’s tattoo.

The story behind it is that I’ve suffered for a long time with body image issues and accepting myself as I am. Reading Whitman’s poetry, especially “Song of Myself”, and going back to graduate school have really made me rethink my life, and I got this tattoo as a celebration of myself and my new found confidence. Dandelions symbolic for faithfulness and happiness, so I thought one would be especially appropriate. I also like the transience of dandelions, with their seeds that can seemingly float along the breeze, wherever the wind wills them to go. They’re also a common flower, much like Whitmans “leaves of grass”, and I’ve always thought that sometimes the common and the ordinary should be just as celebrated and thought of as beautiful as the extraordinary. Roses are beautiful, but dandelions are more so in a way, because they’re not as valued.

Literary Tattoos: Walt Whitman Song of Myself

This belongs to Winnter.

I love it because Walt Whitman is a favorite poet of mine. The tattoo really represents the poet in me, and in all of us. It also truly celebrates the human being as being beautiful, and giving us the freedom to really celebrate that. My flesh is a poem, as is anyone else’s who loves themselves.


This belongs to Lukas.

So, the reason I decided to get this tattoo when I turned 18 goes pretty far back. When I was about 4 or 5 my parents gave me this lamp for my bedroom, it was yellow with purple writing, and it had a whole mess of quotes from different authors, including Hemingway, Frost, and Kerouac. As the years went by, pieces of the quotes chipped off whenever we moved, but the one quote that always remained intact and always stood out in my mind when I thought of my childhood and the lamp was this one. So when I turned 18, I had already been thinking about what I wanted my tattoo to be, and I decided that this one wouldn’t only serve as a reminder of my childhood, but also as a guiding point for the rest of my life.

I exist as I am, that is enough,
If no other in the world be aware I sit content,
And if each and all be aware I sit content.

- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself


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