“Difficult” words

Back at the beginning, before the Lexington Tattoo Project poem was even written, we were, at times, asked what we were going to do about words from the poem that surely no one would want as tattoos, words like “the” and “in.” So we prepared a few ideas, in case some words were just too difficult. Thankfully, there was someone to love every single word of Bianca’s poem.

Here is Stephanie Hopkins’ story of her “the”:

“As soon as I heard about the Lexington Tattoo Project, I wanted to be involved. I had one tattoo already and had recently been searching for inspiration for another. After initially being placed on a waiting list, convinced that it just wasn’t meant to be, I was asked to fill in for a cancellation and get a tattoo of the word ‘the.’

I was thrilled. And nervous. I was also overcome with a sense of responsibility. I would now be host to a piece of poetry and a piece of a large, living work of art. The word ‘the’ seemed to fit me perfectly. Call it luck. “The” is both common and essential in the English language. Just as I strive to do, ‘the’ functions so well in the English language, it often goes unnoticed, but without it, the balance of prose would be lost.”

Stephanie Hopkins

Stephanie Hopkins’ “the”