50 Literary Tattoos

J.K. Rowling said “the stories we love best live in us forever." Here's 50 Literary Tattoos!

Back piece owner, Valentina Tagliabue, “Valen” from Milan, Italy, knows the feeling of what it’s like to be wrapped up in word in a January 2014 interview on Contrarwise.org “The tattoo took me about eighteen hours, divided into three days plus one more afternoon to redo some letters. The font is called “Litos Script”. Tony of Atomic Garden-Milan, my tattoo artist, whom I sincerely thank for this great work.”
She describes her reasoning behind inking the entirety of Annabel Lee, (photo below) one of Edgar Allan Poe’s timeless works: “Why did I want the entire poem on me? Because my first love in this life is Poetry; because when I met the brilliant works of Poe – his novels but especially his poems – they burned my soul so deeply that I wanted a sign of this feeling forever engraved also on my body. The whole text, because you never should break a poem in half or more: all, or nothing.” It is this impression that makes people feel compelled to make literature permanent with the deeply rooted, constantly evolving art of tattooing. Inspiration catches like sparks in a dry field, soon there’s sure to be a wildfire. Inspiration breeds inspiration. Art inspires artists, and some of that inspiration shows up in ink.

This list of literary tattoos is full of word lovers who’ve held onto the lessons of The Giving Tree they heard as a child, or perhaps it was a the poem Bluebird heard in a college course that riveted the spine. Whatever the cause, a feeling like that may fade over time, but it’ll always be there, just like a tattoo. The tattoos below are well-crafted products of inspirational blaze. Found on Pinterest.com, Tattoolit.com, Flavorwire.com, and Literary Tattoos for Bookworms by Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor; here are 50 great examples.

Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It, complete with signature.
Shel Silverstein, Every Thing On It, complete with signature.
The late, great Dr. Seuss
The late, great Dr. Seuss
Stopping by woods on a snowy Evening, poet Robert Frost
Stopping by woods on a snowy Evening, poet Robert Frost
"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas
"Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." - Dylan Thomas

Recent from Tattoo Ideas

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Fight Club, author Chuck Palahniuk
Fight Club, author Chuck Palahniuk
Artist unknown
Artist unknown

Creative take on author Jamie Craig's quote; “That moment when you finish a book, look around, and realize that everyone is just carrying on with their lives as though you didn't just experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback.” Very true for the readers out there.

Still I rise, poem by the fun and talented Maya Angelou. "You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I'll rise." - Still I rise
Still I rise, poem by the fun and talented Maya Angelou. "You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt. But still, like dust, I'll rise." - Still I rise
"she was a hurricane" - John Green, Looking for Alaska.
"she was a hurricane" - John Green, Looking for Alaska.
Beautiful tattoo of Dr. T.j. Ecklegberge's eyes from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Beautiful tattoo of Dr. T.j. Ecklegberge's eyes from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Another Gatsby homage, the green light.
Another Gatsby homage, the green light.
A quote from Bukowki's; What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
A quote from Bukowki's; What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
Bukowski's universally relatable message of the bluebird is depicted well in this detailed ribcage tattoo.
Bukowski's universally relatable message of the bluebird is depicted well in this detailed ribcage tattoo.
Classy illustration of "Bluebird's" tagline.
Classy illustration of "Bluebird's" tagline.
People can relate to the symbolism of something locked inside.
People can relate to the symbolism of something locked inside.
Unless it wasn’t symbolism at all, in that case Bukowski has the world’s most bizarre heart condition.
Unless it wasn’t symbolism at all, in that case Bukowski has the world’s most bizarre heart condition.
Great execution of imagery from the poem! Nice touch with the "Don't be sad" banner.
Great execution of imagery from the poem! Nice touch with the "Don't be sad" banner.
Personal favorite Bukowski Bluebird by Bukowski interpretation. Please artist's name in the comments.
Personal favorite Bukowski Bluebird by Bukowski interpretation. Please artist's name in the comments.
Artist unknown
Artist unknown

Part of a quote by Charles Bukowski that reads; "My dear,Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.~ Falsely yours”

Quote from To Kill A Mockingbird.
Quote from To Kill A Mockingbird.
Looking for Alaska, John Green
Looking for Alaska, John Green
An ampersand says it all, while still having more to say.
An ampersand says it all, while still having more to say.
A Sylvia Plath piece by artist Alice Kendall at Infinity Tattoo in Portland, OR. The motif "Girl with baloon" was made famous by street artist Banksy
A Sylvia Plath piece by artist Alice Kendall at Infinity Tattoo in Portland, OR. The motif "Girl with baloon" was made famous by street artist Banksy
One of Jonas' rules from The Giver.
One of Jonas' rules from The Giver.
Author, Emily Bonté.
Author, Emily Bonté.
Quote from Oscar Wilde.
Quote from Oscar Wilde.
Feet are the perfect location to do a tattoo in two parts while remaining aesthetically appealing.
Feet are the perfect location to do a tattoo in two parts while remaining aesthetically appealing.
"She's a mess of gorgeous chaos and you can see it in her eyes." Nice placement of lines from the poem Gorgeous Chaos.
"She's a mess of gorgeous chaos and you can see it in her eyes." Nice placement of lines from the poem Gorgeous Chaos.
Author Kurt Vonnegut's tactful way of saying; "S**t happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to."
Author Kurt Vonnegut's tactful way of saying; "S**t happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to."
"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
Fahrenheit 451 - artist unknown
Fahrenheit 451 - artist unknown
The Velvetine Rabbit, artist unknown
The Velvetine Rabbit, artist unknown
Cute one
Cute one
Beautiful black and gray.
Beautiful black and gray.
Same Bukowski quote, different creativity.
Same Bukowski quote, different creativity.
"I like my body when it is with your body." - Edward Estlin Cummings
"I like my body when it is with your body." - Edward Estlin Cummings
That crazy cat from Alice in Wonderland
That crazy cat from Alice in Wonderland
Avid readers like hardcore Alan Dubinsky tend to get white knuckled when a good read is over.
Avid readers like hardcore Alan Dubinsky tend to get white knuckled when a good read is over.
Artful expression of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Artful expression of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Love it when the use of both feet is done creatively and sensibly.
Love it when the use of both feet is done creatively and sensibly.
Last lines of For Jane by Charles Bukowski.
Last lines of For Jane by Charles Bukowski.
That my friends, is dedication. Annabel Lee in it's entirety, complete with signature (mentioned earlier).
That my friends, is dedication. Annabel Lee in it's entirety, complete with signature (mentioned earlier).
Of course, The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe.
Of course, The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe.
After viewing these 50 tattoos and still feeling undecided about which words or what image to get inked, one could just get the writer responsible. In this case, a stunning portrait of Ernest Hemingway in black and gray.
After viewing these 50 tattoos and still feeling undecided about which words or what image to get inked, one could just get the writer responsible. In this case, a stunning portrait of Ernest Hemingway in black and gray.

writteninink22

@Genevieve Rose

I'm a follower of Christ who happens to be a writer and loves tattoos. My collection is growing, I'm officially in the double digits. If I was hardcore I'd have sleeves, one literary arm and the other biblical. Whether tattoos are main stream or back-alley I'll always enjoy the art form, particularly soft black and gray and script. I'm a fall kind of person who loves dogs. Follow me on Instagram @genevieverose1922

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