miles to go before I sleep

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

This tattoo belongs to MareJBear.

My submission is from Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” It is on my left foot. It is in his original handwriting as he has an autographed book. I got it because I am in love with the last verse of the poem:

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep

To me it is motivational as is beautiful and the placement has significance has well.

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost

This belongs to Kristina Keefe.

My tattoo is Robert frost’s last stanza in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

I got this shortly after my grandmother suddenly died when I was a teen. She had written it to me in her last letter, telling me to read more & that this poem was her favorite.
The font is her actual handwriting, taken from the letter and copied onto my skin. The concept is the roots of the tree reach thru her journey to the faith. The top of the sleeve is still under construction.

Artist: Kenneth “tat” Bryan of Intimate Body Art Studies in Glenside, PA.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

nature’s first green is gold

This belongs to Heather Rowland.

I took the lines from a Robert Frost poem which I first read in the book “The Outsiders”. This is my favorite poem and book. I was in the grocery store the other day, when a woman behind me said ”Oh, that’s beautiful”. We talked about the book, “The Outsiders” which we agreed was a rite of passage for young girls in the late 70’s. She told me about your website.

Literary Tattoos: The Outsiders S. E. Hinton Robert Frost Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

- Robert Frost

I doubted if I should ever come back.

Literary Tattoos: The Road Not Taken Robert Frost

This belongs to Matthew Lunsford.

Done at Stay True Route 66 Tattoo Parlor, Amarillo TX

From Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken“. I’ve always had a sense of wanderlust (growing up as a navy brat only helped fuel it) and I’ve always been uncomfortable staying in one place.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

- Excerpt from “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost

Miles to Go

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

This belongs to Lynae M.

The words are in my mom’s handwriting. I’d always wanted a tattoo consisting of a favorite quotation or phrase, and this fantastic poem kept coming back to me while I was searching for the right one.

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

This belongs to El Tejon.

I am aware of the many different interpretations of this classic poem by Robert Frost. However, for me, the most resonant interpretation is the most straightforward and is the one that reminds me to be on guard to keep those things that are important in my life foremost in my thoughts. It is a reminder that although there are many temptations out there, my promises to my kids, my coworkers, myself, and others that depend on me, must come before transient distractions that don’t measurably move the ball forward, as they say. That is not to say I can’t have fun; everything in moderation, including moderation, I have heard and co-opted before, but for one that gets distracted and off track easily, this mantra, permanent and visible, always get me focused and back on track . The trees were designed by the artist in consultation with me. It is my first pictorial tattoo but will likely not be my last.

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

This is Emy’s tattoo.  The feather is from Emily Dickinson’s Hope is the Thing With Feathers.

My life has completely changed in the past year and I have been through a lot of really difficult situations. For me, this tattoo was sort of a way to close that chapter of my life and celebrate overcoming every obstacle. I also got it so that I would never forget the things that I went through and to serve as a reminder that I still have a long way to go before I am completely healed from it all.

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

This is Rachel Hunt’s.

I got this tattoo in honor of my Mom and Grandmother. It’s my Grandma’s favorite poem that she would often read to me as a young child. She always would stress the last lines and say, “What do you think they mean? They say to me that even though death seems far away, the traveler is very tired.” And that always stuck with me. The compass is paired with the quote on my foot to always send me in the right direction, because if you have a compass you know where you are off to. I have many miles to travel before I’m threw. It was inked by Dylan Young at Black Metal Tattoos, Strongsville OH.

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

This belongs to Lisa.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stay Gold

Literary Tattoos: The Outsiders S. E. Hinton Robert Frost Nothing Gold Can Stay

This is Emma’s tattoo.

Literary Tattoos: The Outsiders S. E. Hinton Robert Frost Nothing Gold Can Stay

This is Julia’s.

For me it’s a reminder to stay true to myself, to not get too jaded, and to cherish innocence and remember that it can live inside us simultaneously with wisdom.

Literary Tattoos: The Outsiders S. E. Hinton Robert Frost Nothing Gold Can Stay

This belongs to Season R. Gomez.

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. 

- Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

“Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.”

― S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

Assassin’s Creed

Literary Tattoos: Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening Robert Frost Assassins Creed

Here’s a new category for the site: Video Games.

This is Michael Krenzer’s Assassin’s Creed II tattoo.

This was my first tattoo, done at Eagle Tattoo in Chicago in 2010-October. My little brother was killed by a drunk driver just before the school year started; playing video games was one way I tried to escape the immediate aftermath of that event. While the quote itself is born in violence (in the game, its spoken to a man who has just been assassinated); I have found it to be an…important thing for me to remember. Reading it, I also am reminded of a poem by Robert Frost — that “the woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep”.