Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tattoo Tuesday: Bradbury

Hey there Marauders!! It's our favorite time of the week once again!!
For those of you who are new to the site here's a bit of background. Tattoo Tuesday was started by our good friend Tara over at 25HourBooks and celebrates our love of literature plus the people like us who are obsessed enough to ink something literary on their body! Every week we feature a literary tattoo that interests or compels us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ink.

This weeks tattoo comes from Contrariwise and belong to a J. Rippel


The tattoo text is taken from the first lines in Ray Bradbury's poem: 'Byzantium' Which happens to be Prongs 2nd favorite poem of all time. It can be found in the introduction of Bradbury's book 'Dandelion Wine.'
The poem is about Bradbury's relationship to his hometown, and plays off of the poem of the same name by Yeat's (which is one of my other all time favorites).

And lucky you... today we have the whole poem for your reading pleasure!

Byzantium, I come not from,
But from another time and place
Whose race was simple, tried and true;
As boy
I dropped me forth in Illinois.
A name with neither love nor grace
Was Waukegan, there I came from
And not, good friends, Byzantium.
And yet in looking back I see
From topmost part of farthest tree
A land as bright, beloved and blue
As any Yeats found to be true.
So we grew up with mythic dead
To spoon upon midwestern bread
And spread old gods’ bright marmalade
To slake in peanut-butter shade,
Pretending there beneath our sky
That it was Aphrodite’s thigh…
While by the porch-rail calm and bold
His words pure wisdom, stare pure gold
My grandfather, a myth indeed,
Did all of Plato supercede
While Grandmama in rockingchair
Sewed up the raveled sleeve of care
Crocheted cool snowflakes rare and bright
To winter us on summer night.
And uncles, gathered with their smokes
Emitted wisdoms masked as jokes,
And aunts as wise as Delphic maids
Dispensed prophetic lemonades
To boys knelt there as acolytes
To Grecian porch on summer nights;
Then went to bed, there to repent
The evils of the innocent;
The gnat-sins sizzling in their ears
Said, through the nights and through the years
Not Illinois nor Waukegan
But blither sky and blither sun.
Though mediocre all our Fates
And Mayor not as bright as Yeats
Yet still we knew ourselves. The sum?

Beautiful right? The first 3 lines are high up on Prongs list of tattoos to get. Were you just as inspired?

Alright folks, that is all for this Tuesday. Don't be too remiss, for we will return next and every Tuesday with a brand new literary tattoo for your viewing pleasure. We encourage every one to check out Tara's site as well, or even feel free to send us an e-mail with any tattoo's of your own!


  1. Personally I think tattooed text is awesome. Words, poetry, lyrics... they are all very powerful. And as much as an image is worth a thousand words,I think a select handful of carefully chosen words can be just as powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. @Christopher - Wonderful comment! We both completely agree and are glad you liked the post. I am always in awe at how people can find short little quotes in the middle of large passages that can stick out and really mean something to them. Thanks again!

  3. I don't have any tattoos nor do I plan on getting one anytime soon, but if I did I think it would be something literary-related. Maybe something e.e. cummings..

  4. What a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing! I like tattoos, but only on other people. :-)
    I really enjoy your blog!


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