I’m not very good with pain, so the idea of getting a tattoo intrigues me. In a former life, I tried henna tattoos – intricate deigns around my finger, a flower around my ankle. That’s as far as it has got, though. I’ve thought about getting a teeny-tiny permanent one, but have not yet found something worth inscribing permanently on my body.
So when I got my hands on ‘The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide’, I wanted to know more about ‘literary tattoos’ and what were the kind of people who chose words instead of biker-babes on their biceps.
The book is a collection of colour photographs accompanied by little essays about the tattoos. The images run from quirky to inspiring to a little grotesque (in my opinion). The words are better – from poetry, to single, inspiring words, these tattoos make you want to find the nearest inking place and show them a copy. The fonts are incredible – I am amazed at the artistry of some of the tattooists.
I loved the idea of a single word (‘Poem’ on the neck of Noah Eli Gordon) or a dedication (‘To Vera’ from Nabokov on Kourtney Paranteau). The one with the E.E.Cummings poem (“1(A leaf falls on loneliness) running down the spine of Hannah Kucharzak is particularly lovely, too.
At the end of the book, I came to the conclusion that a full-blown tattoo (large, with faces or covering a major portion of skin) is just not my style. They disturb me a little. I don’t like it, but good for you if you do! I’d like to try a version of ‘Poem’, though – just not around my neck.