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Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  971 ratings  ·  273 reviews
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 pagesfrom Bon Jovi and Green Day to Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and beyond. Already a smash sensation on the Internetthe Tumblr page has 20,000+ followersPop Sonnets has been featured by the A.V. Club, ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Quirk Books
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Theresa Lizotte Yes, it is as enjoyable as it sounds, and will have you laughing out loud at various points

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

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,
Courtney Hatch
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
This had me laughing so hard. My husband and I took turns reading some out loud and having the other one figure out which popular song the sonnet was parodying. Yep. That's our idea of a good time hahaha. I would love to use this as a tool in the classroom and have students write their own "Shakespeared" versions of their favorite songs.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs by Erik Didriksen is one of those little gems of a book that have you laughing, smiling and wanting to share the moment with others around you. It will unleash your inner geekness of both literature and music.

The Bard meets the Backstreet Boys. Shakespeare melds with Simon and Garfunkel. Victorian England clashes with Vanilla Ice.

"...An older man, he asks me for a song forgotten, but well-lov'd in younger age. The barkeep swears he doth
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This could be the greatest thing I've ever read. It might not have been a great thing to read while sick because I was laughing so hard, I would start coughing. But I digress...

I love me some Shakespeare and pop music is sort of a guilty pleasure, so I was really eager to see what this book had in store for me. It absolutely didn't disappoint.

Songs from Christina Aguilera and Taylor Swift, to Guns N' Roses and Black Sabbath to Rhianna and Jay Z are included. There's even some Journey and Boston
Julia França
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Quirk Books for sending this to me for review.

One of the coolest books I have ever read.

4 stars because some sonnets were better than others but 'tis kind of things such as taste that one can not control. It's a small, fast, fun read. I had the song lyrics opened while reading it and it was very entertaining. Recommend to everyone.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Okay, now all I need is a version of this but with only Disney songs.
This book is not a watered-down summary of Shakespeare's finest.

Actually it's more like Epic Rap Battles took all of your favourite songs and made them twice as badass with a dash of Shakespearean refinery!

It's well-done, expertly crafted, and a joy to read :)

Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs is such a fun and unique read! It combines humour, Shakespeare and pop culture at the same time! Seriously what better to ask?!?

Erik Didriksen's ability to transform those pop songs to sonnets was truly remarkable! There were even some of his sonnets that had a poetic meaning as well. It's really strange, but at the same time he brings us a sonnet so poetically beautiful that it makes you forget that is a pop,guilty pleasure song!

Here is
Thanks, NetGalley!

This was such an awesome read. I can see myself using this book as a party game, quizzing my friends or family, seeing if they can guess the original song. It was nice to see such a wide range of songs "translated", many decades of music, from Frank Sinatra to U2 to Miley Cyrus. Totally hilarious and so well done!
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

Clever, very clever.

And in proper rhyming structure *and* iambic pentameters (yes, I counted; not for every single sonnet, but I still counted, just to make sure).

This collection of 100 famous songssome dating back to the mid-20th centuries, some much more recentrevisited as Shakespearian sonnets was very funny to read, as well as interesting: the poetry does respect the form, appropriates some lines from actual
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the best thing I've read all month. Extremely funny while also very clever, this is the book I never knew I needed in my life and also my new favourite. I want everyone to read this because it's just so awesome!

I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full Review Here: http://www.forwardsandbookwords.wordp...
**I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Quirk!**

Cover Review: I was blown away by the quality of this book. It was very apparent that a lot of thought and time went into creating every aspect of the entire set-up. The cover is super cute and fun, perfectly matching the tone and creativity of the words within. There were pictures included in between the sections of the book, the naked
So, I Read This Book Today
Song links would make this Perfect!

I dont pretend to be Captain Weird. I just do what I do. Johnny Depp
OK, here is a question for you Do you think William Shakespeare is rolling in his grave? No, really. Cee Lo Green DID base his F**k You! on one of his sonnets. Just sayin.
I notice my beloved on thy arm, and from my lips I spit a vulgar oath My want of wealth as causd my courtship harm, and so Ive lost my love; Ye(sic) on your both!
Translated to:
See you driving round town With the girl I love
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
It took me some time but now I finished it. Its amazing. I will definitely use it for my students later 😄 ...more
Read all my reviews on

I really liked this one. It started with just the idea, combining Shakespearian poetry and modern pop song lyrics, and, perhaps a little bit to my own surprise, it worked really well.

It's a great mix of new and older songs, so I think everyone will at least be able to recognize the poems for some of the songs. I personally also really liked to search the songs I didn't immediately recognized and to listen to them while reading the
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, netgalley
This book appeals to both my fondness for Shakespeare and my shameless love for pop music! I had a fun time trying to guess the sonnets before reading the title. The idea to format modern pop songs into iambic pentameter is so clever and well done!

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
I received this book for free through BookLikes' Giveaways.

I absolutely loved this. It was such a fun book. I highly recommend to anyone who loves Shakespeare or just music.
An extremly funny book!
Amy "the book-bat"
OMG This was so much fun! Imagine "Can't Touch This" or "Ice Ice Baby" or "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" as if they were written by Shakespeare. So many good songs were given the Shakespearean makeover and I think they turned out wonderfully. So creative! I am so glad the guy at the library told me about this book.
Jessica Russell
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I expected this book to be silly, but this author is incredibly talented! These sonnets are clever and witty and also beautiful! The iambic pentameter is perfect and unforced. I was so pleasantly surprised!
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance reading copy at the bookstore where I work. This book is just wonderful, and is highly recommended to anyone who teaches creative writing or poetry to high school students. The author has a very natural grace with formal meter and his ability to craft a traditional sonnet out of these lyrics is very entertaining. I plan to use this as an instructional tool, probably forever. Recommended.
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Goodreads Giveaways program for an honest review. This book was hilarious. Well-known Pop Songs from multiple generations getting a Shakespeare makeover. What made it even better is I just had to read multiple Shakespeare sonnets for a class I took this semester. If you enjoy reading Shakespeare or are a fan of Top 40 music, pick this up for a read. You won't regret it.
Kylie Thompson
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers, music lovers, English teachers
Pop Sonnets is a fantastic reinterpretation of beloved modern and classic rock and pop. Whether you're a fan of good music (and some guilty pleasure tunes, too), or a lover of sonnets and Shakespearean turns of phrase, it's an enjoyable read.

What I love is how easily this could become both an awesome pub quiz helper, and a well-loved teaching resource, while still being an engaging and fun read in its own right.
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent-reads
I love this little book. It is full of songs written as sonnets - language of the time period included.

I took it to school and read them to my students and had them guess the songs. It was fun.

This would be a great gift for high school English teacher (especially if they teach seniors or AP literature).
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The introduction made it sound like these were really Shakespeare's sonnets that inspired songs today, but obviously these are just sonnets based on today's songs. I thought it was a little cheesy to pretend that Shakespeare wrote these himself, but the poems themselves were fun! It was fun to guess which song the sonnet was copying and my students had fun writing their own pop sonnets.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a delight. I only read the sonnets of songs I know, and they were all extremely well done, staying true to the song while still sounding like something that could've been written by Shakespeare. I had a smile on my face the entire time. This is definitely a book I would recommend to/buy for my friends.
Jul 19, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
This was funny and entertaining at the beginning but the appeal just wore off after a while. Erik Didriksen is certainly clever but this just wasn't for me. However, researching one of the songs parodied in here led me down an internet rabbit-hole that resulted in me discovering Disney Decsendants. For that reason I am forever grateful to this book, and rotten to the coooooore. <3
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
What an absolute legend. This is honestly the most iconic book of the 21st century, I will fight anyone who says otherwise.
Rob Brammeld
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun to read to another as a quiz

A wonderful collection of well known songs written in pros of Shakespeare. Four score and 19 problems I have but my lady is not.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun little book that gives you quite a few laughs. The author takes songs both new and old and gives us the first verse/chorus done up in the old style of shakespearean verse. Very clever.
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Erik Didriksen is a software engineer, musician, sonneteer, and trivia enthusiast. He lives in Astoria, NY.

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