In college I took a class, taught by a wonderful teacher, in which Paradise Lost was the sole text. This tattoo is the next to last twenty-three lines of Book Two. We barely touched on them in class, but their imagery transfixes me. In this passage Satan has just given a speech to his fallen angels. His plan is to escape the shackles of hell, fly to God’s kingdom and corrupt mankind. But as he roars up out of the darkness into the bleak emptiness of space, he beholds the world, suspended from heaven by a golden chain. And Satan, even Satan, has to stop, if only for a moment, because the sight of it –this pendant world—is so beautiful.