Wednesday, 22 February 2012

what would you have inked?

I'm far too much of a wuss to have something like this done. However, if I wasn't, I would probably have 'curiouser and curiouser' at the very top of my back, just under my neck.

Anyway, here are some interesting literary tattoos I've found. If you were going to get one, what would you have done, and where?


 I Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds

 Through the Looking Glass
Alice in Wonderland

 A Tale of Two Cities

 Dylan Thomas
Harry Potter

Peter Pan


 The Little Prince

 The Bell Jar


  1. I like all of those. I'm planning a literary tattoo based on a quote from my own work... I just can't decide which quote to have yet. Not sure I'd go the whole Tale of Two Cities hog though!

  2. I don't know if it counts as a literary tattoo, but I have a blue rose tattoo inspired by a Chinese folktale that I read when I was young(er).

  3. I actually have an open book on my left ankle. It was my way of celebrating the completion of my radiation treatments. I'm a wuss about needles, but it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. But, then again, I don't plan on having another one done. But if I did - maybe a children's book character on the other ankle?

    Beverly aka Booklady

  4. I'd get 'We're all mad here' on my hip or foot. I know it's a little cliched, but it reminds me of how I felt when I realised that I wasn't the only person in the world with depression. Way too scared though!

  5. Wow, that Dickens one is pretty hardcore. Love the ampersand and the inverted commas, they're so simple but beautiful. Curiouser and curiouser is a good one; I'm a wuss too but "Known Some Call Is Air Am" from Danielewski's House Of Leaves would probably be a contender.

  6. I have a Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five tattoo:

  7. We always seem to come back this don't we! Perhaps we ought to man-up and just do it ;)

    I'd consider 'curiouser and curiouser' too, but on my wrist not my back/neck.
    I also like the idea of an interwoven question mark and ampersand to make a love heart, again on my wrist. Wrist tattoos are hot.

    Or 'let it take me where it will' from Richard Bach's 'Illusions' on my foot.
    Or, some little black bird silouhettes, Richard Bach again but Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, again on my wrist.

    Or a quote from 'If Nobody Speaks Of Remakable Things' which is just beautiful....

  8. Also also also:


  9. I too would be too scared. However, if I weren't... I'd consider:

    -"Keep my heart a size larger than seeing" (P K Page - one of my fav Canadian poets, from 'After Rain')

    -"Poetry is a sort of homecoming" (Paul Celan - though taken from a speech, not a poem)

    -"The game is afoot" (Sherlock Holmes - Conan Doyle)

    -"A strange child with a taste for verse" (Derek Mahon, from 'Courtyards in Delft')

    -"Lay the coin on my tongue and I will sing of what the others never set eyes on" (Keith Douglas, 'Desert Flowers')

    Hmm... Maybe I should do this! ;)

  10. We are all. Free. To do. Whatever. We want. To do. (Richard Bach. Illusions)

  11. i have ink. "not all those who wander are lost" wraps around my wrist at a slight angle, so that the first and the last word are stacked.
    this way
    when i wander
    and am a little unsure
    i can look down at my wrist and see "not lost"...

    1. I absolutely love that! That's a quote I keep coming back to as well. Very clever idea looping it like that :-)

  12. I read this and it prompted a discussion between my boyfriend and I. It turns out that I'd get "I am a camera", from Christopher Isherwood's 'Goodbye To Berlin' (my favourite book), while he would get "So it goes", from/in reference to Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five'. We've now also come to the conclusion that it might be nice to get these done after we get our English degrees!

  13. One of my more distant cousins has the family crest and motto on his arm but "Aut pax aut bellum" does not seem quite right...might go for Sir Walter Scott though "This is my own, my native land."

  14. I have the word "nevermore" and the shape of a raven pearched on the last "E" on my stomach, above my bellybutton. I was young and very "goth" back then...

  15. I have Tove Jansson's Littly My on my upper arm. It's one I can show my kids and grandkids and they totally get it :P

    1. Ooh I like that idea, but I would have Snufkin :)

  16. I think I'd have "This above all - to thine own self be true" from Hamlet. Or perhaps something lighter like "Elementary" from Sherlock Holmes or something like that. Not that I ever will get a tattoo though, but it would be cool if you were able to order fake ones - like stickers you can put on and peel off - that actually look convincing! Here's hoping anyway.

  17. Where do I start! 'The rest is silence' from Hamlet, VFD on my ankle (those in the know will understand!)and when I finally decide where to place it, I am getting a verse from The Garden of Proserpine (just four lines, NOT the whole poem!)Also planning to have this added to my forearm soon...
    am something of a tattoo addict!

  18. I have a beautiful quill & inkwell tattoo I designed on the front of my hip a few years ago. I wanted something that was personal & fairly private just a symbol of the importance my writing has to me. Most people don't know about it, unless they've been at the beach with me ;-)

  19. I like the Dylan Thomas one and the Peter Pan one. I might get "Elen sila lumenn omentielvo" (A star shines on the hour of our meeting) from Lord of the Rings but I fear it would be a tad pretentious.

    The other quote that I love is too long and would probably hurt too much.

    "Only one heart had to find its true position and travel on from there and all the rest would follow, for no matter how isolated the one felt itself to be, in the deeps of all life all were united and no one could move accurately without all ultimately moving with it..."

    ~ A Far-Off Place, p.304, Laurens van der Post