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

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

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”.

miles to go

This tattoo belongs to Chelsea Meade.

I got this tattoo so that I’ll always be reminded to never give up. I was going through a pretty rough time and felt like I needed something to ground me, to console me, to keep me sane. I have always been the glue holding my dysfunctional family together and after my older brother attempted to commit suicide, I completely broke down. I didn’t understand why, at such a young age, my family felt the need to let me carry so much responsibility. I was angry and terrified and distraught and hurt. I had thought about ending my own life on many occasions but I knew I could never bring that pain to my family and therefore, even that option was taken away from me. So with this tattoo, I began to heal and eventually its meaning crept onto every aspect of the way I live my life. The woods symbolize an easy way out, a short cut, a cowardly release. My promises will always keep me moving forward and pushing on because there’s many miles, or at least a very very long time, before I ever plan to give up. And If I ever feel myself bowing my head in anything other than respect, I  can see my tattoo on the top of my foot, telling me to keep going.

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

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

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”

miles to go

This is Mackenzie Sky’s tattoo:

I encountered this poem when I was 17 in my literary class during my junior year of high school. I was going through a really rocky period in my life, and I found a calm in reading Robert Frost’s poetry, especially when I read this poem. It is my favorite. I had originally wanted to get the entire last stanza, but I realized that A) it would be really huge, and B) it wasn’t necessary. Although at first when I walked into the tattoo shop (The Parlour Tattoo, Eugene, OR) and the jolly/cynical desk man and the very attractive tattoo artist (the man who ended up DOING my tattoo) told me how large it would be, I was kind of crushed. In fact, I was really upset. But the more I thought about it, and the more research on my tattoo I did (fonts, sizes, spread, etc.) the more I realized I didn’t need the entire stanza: I just needed “miles to go”.

What the tattoo is for me is a reminder. It is my nine letter stamp that tells me I got through the rough times, and that I can keep going–I have to keep going. And that where ever I get to in life, be it another down-hill slide or something extremely rewarding, not to stay there too long, because I have to move on, and I have to keep moving on until I die.

I am very proud of my tattoo. I loved it before he put the stencil on me.

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

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

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.

- “Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost