Sometimes you come across a poem or a verse that you want to etch in your memory forever. Poetry has this effect on us—this heart-piercing ability to make us feel connected, loved and seen. And what better way to emulate the permanency these words have on our souls than with a tattoo?
Here are ten popular poetry tattoos to inspire you the next time you feel the need for some new ink.
I wish to weep
but sorrow is
I wish to believe
but belief is a
―Charles Bukowski, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire
Just like the moons and like the suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like the hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
—Maya Angelou, Still I Rise
And were an epitaph to be my story I’d have a short one ready for my own.
I would have written of me in stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.
—Robert Frost, The Lesson for Today
Her heart was wild
but I didn’t want to catch it
I wanted to run with it
to set mine free.
—Atticus, Wild Heart
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
—Sylvia Plath, Lady Lazarus
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night
—Sarah Williams, The Old Astronomer to His Pupil
To strive, to seek,
to find and not to yield
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Ulysses
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
—T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the word,
And never stops at all,
And the sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
—Emily Dickinson, Hope is the Thing With Feathers
and here you are living
despite it all
―Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers