Half savage & hardy & free

Literary Tattoos: Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

This was submitted by theotheralice after she graduated high school and started college as an English major.

I miss my friends and my family and my old way of life the same way Cathy longs for her childhood to be wild and free again and I think every woman is savage and hardy and free at heart. We cant be tamed :) right?

“Oh, I’m burning! I wish I were out of doors! I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free; and laughing at injuries, not maddening under them! Why am I so changed? why does my blood rush into a hell of tumult at a few words? I’m sure I should be myself were I once among the heather on those hills. Open the window again wide: fasten it open! Quick, why don’t you move?”

- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

(Note: Wuthering Heights is free on Kindle.)

that’s how the light gets in

This belongs to Patsy.

This sentiment strikes such a chord with me- I had it put on my inner forearm, as an easily visible reminder that perfection is an illusion. Most of life’s lessons are learned within the “cracks”- the flaws and mistakes that have much to teach us, if we are willing to learn. The artist is Shannon Archuleta.

Literary Tattoos: Leonard Cohen Anthem

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

- “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen

Do I dare disturb the universe?

Literary Tattoos: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S. Eliot Illustrations

This was submitted by Maddie.

It’s from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. When I first read it, this is the quote that stuck with me. Then one of my English teachers told me to go knock the universe off its axis and send it reeling. The combination of both of those ideas made me think that maybe I really could do something powerful. It made me think that I could possibly change the world and have an impact. I got it as a reminder to always be insane and creative and impulsive. The teapot is Russell’s teapot and is a testament to my Atheism. The teapot essentially disproves the idea of God because Russell said (paraphrased) that the it was just as likely that there was a teapot floating in space as it was that God existed. I’m also just really fascinated with the idea of the universe and space.

This is the graphic the tattoo is based on:

Literary Tattoos: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock T.S. Eliot Illustrations

Annabel Lee

Literary Tattoos: Edgar Allan Poe Annabel Lee

This tattoo belongs to Valentina Tagliabue, “Valen“, from Milan (Italy).

I have a poem tattooed on my full back, with a signature at the end. Is “Annabel Lee“, a very well-known poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

Why did I want the entire poem on me? Because my first love in this life is Poetry; because when I met the brilliant works of Poe – his novels but especially his poems – they burned my soul so deeply that I wanted a sign of this feeling forever engraved also on my body. The whole text, because you never should break a poem in half or more: all, or nothing.

I am a writer, a novelist (was my passion and is becoming my main activity), but I mostly consider myself a poet. When I came to know of Poe’s works and life, I found in him all that I am: tenacity, lack of other’s understanding, inspiration intended as a gift, a turbulent and difficult life however fully realized in Art. Is hard to explain to me, it is easier to see all of this in these signs that I care on the back.

I chose Annabel Lee because is the last poem he wrote before his death – and he never saw it published – and to me it is like “pick up a baton”. For this I have engraved it on the back: my shoulders are guarded by the beauty of this poem; but all of the sadness, difficulty and pain of his creator belong to the past. Maybe, they even can be a guide for the future. I chose this poem also for the music of verses and for this desperate love that “neither the angels…nor the demons…” can ever break. Once I loved a man exactly in this way, and I only pray to meet him again…some day.

So this poem was perfect for me, and now is a part of my skin, after being a part of my spirit.

The tattoo took me about eighteen hours, divided into three days plus one more afternoon to redo some letters. The font is called “Litos Script”.

The black and white picture is from Tony of Atomic Garden-Milan, my tattoo artist, whom I sincerely thank for this great work.

Literary Tattoos: Edgar Allan Poe Annabel Lee

the box is only temporary

This tattoo belongs to Stum Casia, a poet and a visual artist from Manila, Philippines.

Literary Tattoos: The Arrival of the Bee Box Sylvia Plath

They might ignore me immediately
In my moon suit and funeral veil.
I am no source of honey
So why should they turn on me?
Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.
The box is only temporary.

- excerpt from Sylvia Plath‘s “The Arrival of the Bee Box”.