This belongs to Sarah.
My tattoo is from the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. It is on the back of my right shoulder. This section of the poem has always hit me particularly hard emotionally. I've always thought this poem to be absolutely beautiful.
The font is a typewriter font, & "Annabel Lee" is in script.
This belongs to Andi from London.
My tattoo is from ee cumming's poem 'since feeling is first'. For me, it means to stop over thinking everything and go on instinct.
I love his poetry and it was made for tattoos!
This is Justin's tattoo.
The inspiration for this tattoo comes from Contantine Cavafy's poem "Ithaca." The last lines have always struck me:
"And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean."
Here's to finding what our Ithacas mean.
This is Erik's tattoo.
The tattoo is an abridged version of the more famous full quote "Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori" ("It is sweet and fitting/just/right to die for one's country," depending on how you translate decorum in the Latin). It originally appeared in the Odes of the Roman poet Horace (III.2.13), but was also reworked in a very famous WWI-era poem by the English poet Wilfred Owen. Owen, having fought in the war (he would die in it not too long after writing the poem), turns Horace's homage to patriotism on its head by illuminating the disconnect between the realities and expectations of war by juxtaposing Horace's lofty rhetoric with images of the barbarism of soldiers dying in WWI.
While living in the UK for a time, I had the opportunity to visit the British Library in London and hear a clip of Owen reading his poem. I thought about what I wanted to do with it for about a year, and then decided on cutting it in half and adding the question mark. It is meant to be more ambiguous and decontextualized, but it also functions quite clearly as a straight-up anti-war statement.
This is Gabby's tattoo.
This poem has been my favorite since I chose to recite it in my 9th grade English class. It's about two lovers, anyone and no one, who fall in love and eventually die. People don't really like them, and they don't do anything spectacular with their lives. They just go about their mundane existence, and when they die the world just moves on. What got me about this line in particular is that in our mundane existence, we can still wake up each day with someone we love and we can still hope. There's something so simplistically beautiful about that.
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
- Excerpt from anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings
This is Kate's tattoo, done by Cecelia at Seventh Son in San Francisco.
The quote is from two different sources:
No single thing abides, and all things are fucked up.
- The Transmigration of Timothy Archer by Philip K. Dick
No single thing abides; but all things flow.
Fragment to fragment clings - the things thus grow
Until we know and name them. By degrees
They melt, and are no more the things we know.
- On The Nature of Things by Lucretius
This is Haley's tattoo.
I recently got this tattoo that is meaningful to me on multiple levels. I've always loved T.S. Eliot and have wanted a tattoo with a line from his Four Quartets for a long time. This particular line is from my favorite part of the poem, which reads:
"Quick now, here, now, always- a condition of complete simplicity (costing not less than everything)
and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well".
Additionally, I have panic attacks and this serves as a reminder that the moment will pass and everything will again be well.