“The Bard meets the Backstreet Boys in Pop Sonnets, a collection of 100 classic pop songs reimagined as Shakespearean sonnets. All of your favorite artists are represented in these pages—from Bon Jovi and Green Day to Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and beyond. Already a smash sensation on the Internet—the Tumblr page has 20,000+ followers—Pop Sonnets has been featured by the A.V. Club, BuzzFeed, and Vanity Fair, among many others. More than half of these pop sonnets are exclusive to this collection and have never been published in any form.” (Goodreads)
You might have seen a little Tumblr blog called ‘Pop Sonnets’. If you haven’t you’ve probably been living under a rock like me. The creator of ‘Pop Sonnets’, Erik Didriksen takes contemporary songs and rewrites them in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. Spoiler alert: they’re amazing and now they’re in book form! I was lucky enough to be approved for an ARC and I can honestly say it’s one of my most favourite reads this year.
I don’t have much to say about this book other than it was ridicuously fun to read. How Erik Didriksen has managed to escape my interest thus far is completely beyond me, as his book basically encapsulates everything that is great about Shakespeare, and everything that is great about pop music (which I love unabashedly). I had a particularly fun time reading the poems and, if I had it on my iPod, listening to the song after. My particular favourites were ‘500 Miles’ by The Proclaimers, ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC, and ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ by Beyoncé. All songs should be read out loud for extra fun.
If you’re into Shakespeare and/or pop music then you will LOVE this. It would probably be a fantastic way to introduce Shakespeare’s poetry to students as well, as reading familiar songs in a poetic context could help make sense of the language of Shakespeare’s time. I’m no teacher though, so take that advice with a grain of salt.
And now for the giveaway!
I’m so excited about this book that in honour of its release I’m giving one lucky reader the chance to win their very own print copy of the book. The giveaway is open to everyone all over the world, providing Book Depository ships free to your country of residence (you can check if your country is one of the lucky ones here). So how do you win?
Below is a sonnet from the book, the first person to correctly guess the original song will be the lucky winner. Just leave your guess in the comments; if you guess wrong I’ll let you know and you can have another go. I’ll let the winner know by responding to your comment and will let you know how to claim your prize. The competition will basically run until someone guesses correctly, so get your thinking caps on. A hint: it was a huge hit in 2003. Good luck everyone and all the thanks in the world to Quirk Books for letting me use this sonnet!
I’ll not be made a cuckold by my miss,
and of this fact, she hath me well assur’d.
Yet this does not assure domestic bliss –
she may, for honor’s sake, have woe endur’d.
The lessons of our forebears shall impart
the ways to keep a marriage will content;
for in this fleeting life, what sets apart
true love from all the world, impermanent?
Thine eyes have glaz’d, as though thou’rt in a
trance; my musings philosophical grow old,
and since thou want’st no doctrine now but dance,
I’ll music make —not cool, but icy cold.
— So ladies! though the rough winds blown away,
pray, shake it like the darling buds of May.