"We need enormous pockets, pockets big enough for our families and our friends, and even the people who aren’t on our lists, people we’ve never met but still want to protect. We need pockets for boroughs and for cities, a pocket that could hold the universe." ― Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Iambic pentameter is a form of poetic verse most famously used by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It represents a ten-syllable line made up of alternately unstressed and stressed syllables. Each pair of syllables makes up one iamb, or “foot”. When the meter is reversed and the stressed syllable leads, it’s called a trochee.
Shakespeare has been a huge force in my life for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always been fascinated by his use and subversion of verse to indicate his characters’ emotions.
This is my very own “iambic foot” and “trochaic foot”. These hatch-marks are how you can mark down where the stress lies in a line of verse.
Done by Crystal Martinez at Tattoo Factory in Chicago, on April 23rd, 2013 (Shakespeare’s 449th birthday).
This is a quote from the John Keats poem “On the Grasshopper and the Cricket,” and I got it both because of my love for ecocritical literature/nature writing as well as my love for my grandma. She gave me a small book of poetry when I was little, and that was the quote on the front. She died last October, and I am very glad that I had this tattoo to memorialize her. I also love Keats’ poetry, so it was just about perfect for me!
|—||Hunter S. Thompson|
The top tattoo is a reference to the concept of timshel developed by John Steinbeck in East of Eden, the symbolism of rivers developed by Hermann Hesse in Siddhartha, and Robert Frost’s poetry describing birch trees.
The gadfly tattoo is a Socrates reference—Socrates was always called a gadfly by the haters for asking questions, challenging the status quo, and being “pesky”.
Literary tattoos are the greatest tattoos.
Both done by my best friend Macauley.