This is one of Christiaan's six tattoos and features four lines by Robert Frost from "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening":
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,Christiaan elaborates on why he chose this poetic tattoo:
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
"There is something about the refrain in the final two lines of this poem that have always spoken to me. Throughout the poem, Frost is clearly struggling with the idea of giving up, which is something I too struggle with often. However, the end of the poem is an obvious attempt to counteract that impulse. If there were only a single line, without the repetition, it might not seem so. But the by saying the line twice, it is almost as if Frost is talking himself into believing in something more, as if he is convincing himself to carry on. It is in this active impulse that I feel most drawn in. The struggle to not give in is one that needs to be actively fought. And so, I wanted to have the stanza on me, as a constant reminder of that struggle."He had this done by Tania at Metamorphosis Tattoo in Kingston, New York.
Christiaan sent us this poem:
A note to my son
A ball of paper, you were taken from
the pocket of your mother, a suddenly
scribbled note, the number of someone
forgotten and never called, the remnants
of a poem in pants just washed. Pulpy hair
pressed into the watermark of eyes so new
to the light, your damp spine curled round like stone,
stalling air spilled in across your tongue.
I watched as you were unballed, as they pulled
crumpled knees out from your chest, unfolded
elbows into arms, stretching your body
carefully out, exposed skin still oddly
blank of years, and with still damp hands put
my arms around your pages unfolded.
~ ~ ~
Christiaan Sabatelli holds an MFA, in poetry, from the University of Florida. While at UF I had the pleasure of working with Michael Hoffman, and completed my thesis under the guidance of William Logan. He has been published in a number of national American magazines, including Writer’s Journal, A Gathering of Tribes, Revelry, New Collage, and Time of Singing.
Thanks to Christiaan for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2015 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.