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.
Edgar Allan Poe
This belongs to Stephanie.
This belongs to Alexa Chandler.
I got this tattoo on my sixteenth birthday. I designed it myself when I was fourteen and wasted no time in getting it. In a very dark time of my life, when things seemed to all be going wrong, I turned to reading – Edgar Allan Poe’s work being my favorite. The Raven was the first thing of Poe’s I ever read and it truly helped pull me out of a depression. It stuck with me for a long time. I wanted to tribute the good that Poe’s work has done for me.
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 is Krisa’s tattoo.
I have been a huge fan of Poe for many years and have always wanted to be able to show my love for Poe in a simple and elegant way.
I am often asked about what the tattoo says, with many people then asking “Nevermore, is that a band or something?” to which i get to joyously reply, “no it is a quote from The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. I like both tattoos and Victorian literature, is that so strange?”
This is Amber‘s.
My father passed away in 2006 and each year since I have gotten a tattoo on what was his birthday. I have always loved Poe and thought it would make a good memorial since he is missing a lost loved one.
This belongs to Maria.
This is Jennifer’s.
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!
– Excerpt from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe
This is Terra’s tattoo:
My grandmother, who was also one of my closest friends, recently died. She was named Annabelle Lee after the Edgar Allan Poe poem, although spelled differently. In her memory, this is my new tattoo of the first stanza of the poem, with her name in her own handwriting (I got it from her passport).
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
– Excerpt from “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe. Read the whole poem here.
This tattoo belongs to Elizabeth M.
But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.
– Excerpt from “The City in the Sea” by Edgar Allan Poe