Written in Ink…on Skin

Posted by Autumn

Earlier this week I wrote about how much I love reading. I considered myself a pretty hardcore word maven, but then I saw this link:


I’ve got nothing on these guys and gals. They’ve actually inscribed some of their favorite words from songs, poems, and books right into their living flesh! What a testament to the power of the written word!

The quotes in the collection range from song lyrics to poetry verses to whole passages from novels, but for some reason my brain got stuck on the idea of having a great first sentence tattoo. Blame my college years—in writing classes, the first line is king. Also, I don’t think I want to dedicate my entire ribcage to a quote. Any quote.

The American Book Review has their list of the 100 Best Lines from novels, for a little inspiration:


Excellent choices all, but what if you’ve never read Gravity’s Rainbow (you should) or didn’t particularly like The Wings of the Dove (me neither)?

If it’s going to be on your body forever, and if it’s going to say something to the world about you, it might as well be a line from a book (or song, or poem) you love.


Here are my choices for First Line Tattoo, Song Lyric Tattoo, and Poem Verse Tattoo:

First Line:

We Were the Mulvaneys, Joyce Carol Oates - We were the Mulvaneys, remember us?

Song Lyric:

The Kid, written by Buddy Mondlock - I’m the kid who ran away with the circus

Poetry Verse:

This is Just to Say, William Carlos Williams –

so sweet

and so cold


What about you? Is there a line from a book--it doesn’t have to be the first--or a poem or a song that really defines you? Would you ever get a quote tattoo?


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  • Joy Carnahan 11 years 112 days ago
    I have seriously considered committing one of my favorite lines from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle to skin. The line in question reads: "Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." However I'm not quite sure where it should go.