"If" by Rudyard Kipling

One of history’s great poems, tattooed as a backpiece by Cam von Cook at Osborne Village Ink in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

19 thoughts on “"If" by Rudyard Kipling

  1. I hate to be “that guy”, but there’s a typo on that bad boy. Breathe is spelled ‘breath’. Bummer.

    Otherwise it is quite striking.

  2. i’m pretty sure that’s the right version of “too” there and at least the “breathe” could possibly be fixed.

    i don’t know the poem but should it be ‘lose’ not ‘loose’ in the last paragraph?

  3. I dunno dreaming4444. Googling the phrase as it is spelled in the tattoo finds 127 results, whereas searching for it spelled “nor talk too wise” (with two ‘o’s) finds 39,700. Seems like a typo to me.

    Unless of course you’re joking, considering your spelling of “usage.”

  4. Just wondering what the life of a tattoo as fine as this would be? I love the appearance, though to maintain it you’d have to get it touched up every five years or so right?

    My first tattoo is eight years old now and it’s starting to bleed a little. Wondering whether it was the way it was tattooed, and maybe with better ink the life of tattoos like the one above is improved?

    Hope I’ve made sense…

  5. boo-urns i was looking at the first ‘too’ in the phrase and was like “yeah, that’s how it should be”, and yeah i agree the second “to” should be “too” as well. obviously my reading skills are as good as my spelling skillz :P

    as well, in the bottom paragraph, should it be “lose”, not “loose”? i don’t know the poem

  6. Yeah, I can see at least five mistakes there. Should be ‘talk too wise’, ‘meet with triumph and disaster’, ‘never breathe a word’, ‘serve their turn’, and ‘lose the common touch’. Sorry Cam. On the other hand, who really gives a flying fuck about a few spelling errors?

  7. tokyowars – The lettering is big enough that it should last solidly pretty much indefinitely. I wonder if he’s planning on correcting some of the typos with a bit of laser and rework, or if it’s irrelevant. I’m not sure if I’d correct it if it was me, mistakes — and more importantly, accepting them — are part of life.

  8. I love this poem, but I really dislike the font he chosed to use… I dont think it matches very well.

  9. That’s pretty awesome but I hate the poem for personal reasons. In elementary school our teacher used to read that to us before recess and if anyone made any noise during it, she’d start again from the begining

  10. Teacher’s can ruin poetry by doing that :(
    The spelling errors bother me, but I think the concept and the tattoo is very cool. I’ve always loved that poem!
    I also like that the font is semi-unusual.

  11. Pingback: Echtes Commitment « Turmsegler

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