Literary Tattoos Part Deux

Body Art

We did another post on literary tattoos, but there were still too many good ones so here are some more fantastic, fun, or very, very literary literary tattoos.



“but I’m too tough for him, I say, stay in there, I’m not going to let anybody see you.” Bukowski.

run with the hunted

more Bukowski. “I run with the hunted and if I’m not the happiest man on earth I’m surely the luckiest man alive.”


burn burn burn

Time for Kerouac, yes? A passage from On The Road says “the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn burn like fabulous yellow roman candles…”

on the road 2

A bit more elaborate, a passage from On The Road with a portrait of Kerouac, and his trusty typewriter.

on the road

The whole quote from above. Not right above. Above that. There you go.

More Miscellaneous

They just keep on coming!


There are a LOT of e.e. cummings tattoos out there, but this is an especially good one.

delete the adjectives

A quote from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.


Because it would take up WAY too much space to get the whole thing tattooed on you.

do i dare disturb the universe

T.S. Eliot. Nice placement, too.

don quixote

Miguel de Cervantes. Dude had what it took to create literature with staying power. The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha has been around since the 1600’s and people still dig it.


Gotta love a girl who gets a bit from a Langston Hughes poem tattooed on her.

exuberance is beauty

William Blake. You either love him or hate him. Or you’re indifferent to him. One of those.


Faulkner had a lot to say about man’s misfortune. He said “Man’s misfortune lies in being time-bound” and he also said “A man is the sum of his misfortunes.”

ferdinand the bull

From The Story of Ferdinand, written by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson.


From Stephen King’s The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower series. Too bad the flowers aren’t roses. That would make a lot more sense.

hill haunted

From Look Homeward, Angel. “he say the golden cities sicken in his eye.” Love you, Thomas Wolfe.

very hungry caterpillar

From the children’s picture book by Eric Carle. A super cute tattoo.

one lives to find out

Mark Twain. From Life on the Mississippi.

moby dick

“Thar she blows.”


Nietzsche was such a card.

war is peace

From Orwell’s 1984

tremendous things are in store for you

More people should get quotes by Roald Dahl tattooed on them.

this is what you shall do

From Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. “This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy…”

dylan thomas

Written by Dylan Thomas, for his dying father.


One of the better tattoos inspired by Douglas Adams. They even included the towel.

let love write on you

From Jonathan Safran Foer – Everything is Illuminated

man is born free

Rousseau. Deep.


Ramona. Not so deep.


The last lines of Nabokov’s Lolita.


It’s Proust, if you bothered reading the tattoo.


Isn’t it bad enough that we all read Rilke in our early twenties?

scarlett letter

Assuming she knows what The Scarlett Letter is about, this is very edgy. If she doesn’t…well…poor girl.

so it goes

Do you have any idea how many Slaughterhouse-Five tattoos there are in the world? A lot. This is one. The phrase “so it goes” is used in the book repeatedly (106 times). When people die. Cheerful, huh?

suppose we have only dreamed

C.S. Lewis, from The Silver Chair.

thomas pynchon


to die will be an awfully big adventure

Attributed to both Socrates AND J.M Barrie.


Very famous quote by J.R.R. Tolkien in his poem All That is Gold Does Not Glitter.

youll end up looking at the ski

From Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

virginia woolf

Some people really love Virginia Woolf. Obviously, this is one of those people.

who is more real

How much do we love a girl who loves Heinlein? A lot.

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