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Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your…

Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs

by Erik Didriksen

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  sszkutak | Sep 28, 2016 |
I suppose I would have enjoyed this book more if I knew more of the songs or at least remember all the lyrics of the songs I do know. It was just a fun book that could be read in an afternoon. ( )
  eliorajoy | Aug 1, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The beauty of language is front and center in this collection of sonnets. I found the historical fiction foreword unnecessary, but every other part of this book was spot on.

The song selection picked from quite a range of song styles and contents. As a result, even though I did not know the original of every song in the book, I knew enough that I could skip through and enjoy my favorites.

The command of Shakespearean language is adept. The vocabulary is well chosen; abbreviations and other early modern English affectations are represented without being overdone. The meter felt natural, never forced.

I have had great fun reading a sonnet and guessing which song it purported to be. Recommended for any fans of popular music and of Shakespeare, who don't mind when the boundaries between the two get muddy. ( )
  shabacus | Jun 22, 2016 |

I haven't read a Shakespeare work to completion - it wasn't a requirement in school for me (yet) and it's not something I've chose to embark on myself. I have some of his stuff waiting to be read in the ever-huge TBR shelves, but I haven't quite mustered up the courage yet. I do know that these verses are likely simplified compared to some of Shakespeare's works, where I have seen lines and bits and pieces.

Reading this I think of rewording the lyrics into a poem written via Shakespeare style, omitting duplicate lyrics and chorus. The cover on the front is cute and eye catching, but it doesn't stick to humor through the whole thing. While the humorous songs are sort of fun, it was the serious variations that really spoke to me, turning the songs into beautiful poetry with heart.

From 'Sonnets of Love' I especially enjoyed Guns N' Roses Sweet Child of Mine (the song rocks too) and The Monkees "I'm a Believer." 'I thought of romance like a chest of gold, assuming what I gave would e'er be lost; thus I commanded that my heart grow cold so I might ne'er incur its heavy cost.'

Even if I liked the serious more, the funny ones were cute too, including The Weather Girls "It's Raining Men" and MC Hammer's "You Can't Touch This." Thought Vanilla Ice was kind of a failure though.

My favorite was probably Frank Sinatra's "My Way" - The first part: 'The curtain falls; my time draws near its end, but I'll not fear the bitter wrath of age. I'll say it clear: I have observ'd, sweet friend, within my life that all the world's a stage - and if the men and women players be, I've played my part and made myself the lead."

Great gift for Shakespeare addicts, poetry lovers, and music fans. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Pop Sonnets by Erik Didriksen is clever, amusing, and on point. Shakespeare takes on Billy Joel, Green Day, Nicki Minaj and more in this collection of pop sonnets. I found myself singing them to the tune of the original songs in my head, and that made the book just that much more enjoyable! You can find a collection of the sonnets here. This is just a fun idea, very well put together, loved it! ( )
  pennylane78 | Jun 6, 2016 |
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"The Bard meets the Backstreet Boys in 'Pop Sonnets,' a collection of 100 classic pop songs reimagined as Shakespearean sonnets. All your favorite songs are here, including hits by Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, and many others. With stirring sentiments on everything from love and despair to wanton women, 'Pop Sonnets' offers inspirational verse for every occasion."--P. [2] of cover.… (more)

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