a little east of reality

Saturday, July 18, 2009

two things a tattoo told me

I just saw this tattoo on the contrariwise blog (tattoos inspired by literature, song, etc) and I think my first response is a bit telling.

1. It bothered me that the line was straight instead of following the natural line of the arch of the foot. Aesthetically it's not as pleasing, but it also feels like they've tried to impose something rigid onto something free and flexible. Seems a shame given that the words themselves suggest a freedom to live as you choose without judgment or constraint.

2. It also bothered me (way more than it probably should have) that there is no full stop on the end of the sentence. For me to have it written without one, I would have had to make the first letter lower case.

It's a strange thing about rules when it comes to language. It's not just a matter of obeying the rules and I'm aware that language changes and develops over the years. But I really like the sense of order and 'rightness' that comes from grammar, spelling and punctuation rules. So much so in fact that 'correct' language that conforms to those rules is actually more beautiful to me.

It's the same feeling I get from using traditional poetic forms. I like free verse, I often use it myself, but sometimes when I force myself to be creative within a strict traditional form with a set rhyming scheme or other limitations, what I produce is so much better ~ more musical, more satifying to read aloud. The ideas have more clarity and the thing as a whole is more beautiful to me.

Does anyone else find that? Not just with writing, but any art form? Also, if you were going to get a 'literary' tattoo, whch line/s would you choose and why?

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