Happy Thursday to all you dVerse bards from Kim of Writing in North Norfolk, and welcome to the tavern! I am your serving wench for today, with ale, sack wine, malmsey and mead.
I have a wonderful little book by Erik Didriksen called Pop Sonnets, in which some well-known pop songs have been re-written in the style of William Shakespeare. As the sonnets in the book are copyrighted, I have provided a link to Tumblr, where new pop sonnets are posted every Thursday: https://popsonnet.tumblr.com/
The book itself is a work of art, printed in an old-fashioned font, Shakespearean style, with a front page stating ‘Never before imprinted’. It is divided into five sections:
- Sonnets of Love include Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m in Love’ and Weezer’s ’Buddy Holly’;
- Sonnets of Despair include Britney Spears’ ‘Oops! I Did It Again’, Green Day’s ‘Basket Case’ and Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’;
- Sonnets of Time and Mortality include ‘Talking Heads’ ‘Once in a Lifetime’, Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Beliievin’’ and Don Henley’s ‘The Boys of Summer’;
- Rogues, Rascals and Wanton Women include the Beastie Boys’ ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)’, Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ and Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed a Girl’;
- Ballads of Heroes include Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’.
There are so many songs, I can’t list them all.
The challenge is to choose a modern popular song, preferably one that everyone knows, and re-write it as a Shakespearean sonnet, which can be serious, humorous or just plain silly! To make it more fun, don’t give your sonnet its original title so that we can take a guess as to what it might be!
This form has already been covered in previous dVerse prompts and the one with the most comprehensive explanation is a Form for All by Gay Reiser Cannon from September 2012, for which I have provided a link: https://dversepoets.com/2012/09/13/formforall-basic-sonnet-forms/
If you are new, here’s how to join in:
- Write a sonnet in response to the challenge;
- Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below;
- There you will find links to other poets, and more will join so check back to see more poems;
- Read and comment on other poets’ work, we all come here to have our poems read;
- Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog;
- Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like. We are a friendly bunch of poets.
- Have fun.
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Welcome to dVerse. Today it’s been chilly but sunny here. Our cherry tree has finally blossomed this week and the washing is drying on the line! This will be the second ‘music’ prompt this week and I’m hoping for some interesting Shakespearean sonnets. Remember, don’t be too obvious about the song you’ve chosen – it’ll be extra fun to work out what it is. I imagine it will take a while for the posts to pop up – you have to think of a song, write a sonnet in the style of Shakespeare, etc. Don’t worry if you can’t do it in three quatrains and a rhyming couplet – two quatrains and a rhyming couplet will do – and you don’t have to write in Olde English!
Sunny and warm afternoon here Kim ~ I am envious of your cherry blooms blossoming already ~ Ours is scheduled to blossom first week of May ~
Mine will all be gone by then 😦
How short and sweet it is, I know ~
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Thanks for hosting, Kim. I’ve posted one and left it a mystery as to which song was the source of the inspiration.
I’m still trying to work out what it is!
If no one guesses it, I’ll you know here later this evening after I get back.
Paul and Jade guessed mine right: Beauty and the Beast. Although I was also thinking of River Deep, Mountain High while writing it.
Beauty and the Beast? I don’t know that – who’s it by? Now I’ll have to look it up. 🙂
It’s by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken. The first line is “Tale as old as time”. Some people know it by that name.
I will look it up!
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paul scribbles said:
Fun and challenging in equal measure. Twist embedded in the couplet for mine with the song in the quatrains…..and some mystery hopefully. International skype again tonight but back later for ales a plenty and some good olde worlde poetry.
I’m just about to read yours. I wonder if I can work out what it is…
This was a challenging prompt Kim and took me out of my comfort zone ~ I really like the link of that Pop sonnet blog ~ Thanks for hosting and I will hit the trail in a bit ~
I loved your sonnet! I’m currently trying to solve two sonnet pop riddles by Frank and Paul.
Thank you ~ I have a hard time with song titles but I appreciated all the sonnets so far ~
I’ve just worked out Paul’s and had a shot at Frank’s but I think I’m wrong on that one.
Linda Kruschke said:
I could not hope a sonnet to have written
Yet by this Pop Sonnet poet I am smitten
Thanks for sharing this. I don’t think I have the time, energy, or creativity to try this myself, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Pop Sonnets Tumblr page. And I look forward to seeing what some of the dVerse Poets come up with.
You don’t have to write a whole sonnet, Linda – one quatrain and a couplet is all it takes!
Nice comment Linda. There will be no sonnet from me tonight either, I’m afraid. I have enjoyed reading so far, though I don’t know most of the tunes. I did write a little something today, no link as its not on prompt. Have a good night all!
Thanks for dropping by, Eric!
Went over and had a read anyway. Nice writing 🙂
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That’s a great sonnet by Jane Dougherty!
Greetings mine own truest friends! Would’st the bar maiden filleth my cup with a fine honey mead that I might’st drink unto thy health and to read lofty words commence?
I have the finest honey mead and a pewter goblet for thee, Jilly, in return for a sonnet, I prithee. 🙂
‘Tis posted, maiden fair! (Drat this technology, ’tis but slower than my pen and scroll!)
Yea, verily the pen can be sharp and quick. And a mead for me as well, my favorite. I’ve made quite a bit of it in my day. Lovely stuff.
Wait… you make your own Mead?
Indeed! Often five gallons at a clip. I like it sweet so would use about 25-30 lbs for a batch that big.
Well, your cool factor just went up !
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Well, it’s gone 10.30 pm over here and I’ve been watching the computer screen for two and a half hours, so I’m going to shut down for the night. But I will be back early in the morning to continue reading and solving pop sonnet puzzles! For those of you on the other side of the world, have fun and a Happy Easter!
this is an amazing prompt Kim, so imaginative I do enjoy music and it inspire me, lovely to know more about you too
Hi Gina! You just caught me before I shut down the computer and get ready for bed.I’m delighted you like the prompt and I look forward to reading your pop sonnet in the morning. In the meantime, if you can work out the pop song behind Frank’s sonnet, let me know please! I’m struggling! 🙂
thanks Kim! Ok I will check it out! He is a crafty one. have a good sleep, talk to you in your morning.
I see that you linked up Gina but the page couldn’t be found? Perhaps you can link the correct one, I can edit the initial link ~
I wasn’t finished and in a flurry of activity presed link. would you remove it? I will link the correct one later today. thanks Grace!
I love the video that you linked up (with Sabio’s link) ~ Such a happy song to listen to this Friday morning ~
Yes it is Grace and so lovely of Sabio to send me the link, this is a very soothing song and yet wonderfully inspiring, I am so happy it has uplifted you this morning!
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Sleep well, Kim….yon evening moon shall brighten your slumber. Perchance to dream, to sonnetize within the clouds above thy head 🙂
I enjoyed this one….challenging for sure! But that’s what I like about dVerse…I truly do learn a lot! Shall read some tonight…just about packed for our trip. Layers is the rule as we start in Miami and end in Iceland! Off tomorrow AM at 6:30 so we shall see when I can get on board again.
I got up about an hour and a half ago and have been reading and trying to work out the songs – it’s been more fun than I imagined! Have a wonderful trip, Lillian. I’ll be looking out for updates and photos on Facebook!
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Bekkie Sanchez said:
I just read a few of these after biking today and it looks like so much fun I may have to add my own. I never wrote a sonnet before so I guess I’ll look up the form. Good thing they have a rhyme in them. It’s been fun trying to guess the songs this is a great prompt!
I had a ball doing this! And I haven’t even had my first glass of wine yet. …which reminds me…. Hey, y’all! I’m going to have fun trying to figure out your sonnets. I promise; no peeking.
I’ve been to bed and got up again and I’m still having fun with this!
It’s essential to have some fun. Even with the serious business of poetry.
Bekkie Sanchez said:
Mine is up and what fun I had writing it. I can’t wait until tomorrow to read more and guess what they are. I gave the answer in a link so everyone could guess first. I hope it’s a sonnet it’s my first one and I looked up the form but didn’t use Shakespear speech. Lol! Group hug!
Group hug across the miles, Bekkie, and thanks for joining in the prompt – I’m having so much fun reading and working out the songs!
Bekkie Sanchez said:
Me too! It was a blast and I’m sorry it’s over. Lol!
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Sabio Lantz said:
I so wish folks would really try to write sonnets and not just throw up a little rhyme with a few Early Middle Englishisms and then say, “I’m not sure this is really a sonnet, but…”
It reminds me of conversations where someone says, “I know this has nothing to do with what you just said, but ….”
I usually stick to the sonnet form (Petrarchean or Shakespearean), but I I admit that I violated what I think a Shakespearean sonnet should be in my link. One of my rhymes wasn’t exact and the volta was not on the couplet. After seeing Gerald Stern’s “American Sonnets” it looks like anything that fits on a page could be called a sonnet today.
I agree, Frank. I like working with the Shakespearean sonnet but I have seen all kinds. I’m hoping to take part in one of The Poetry School’s on-line workshops on Women’s Sonnets in July, which should be interesting.
Sabio Lantz said:
This exercise (a very good one!) illustrates well one of the problems I have with much of poetry: Everyone writing has some lyrics in their head when they write. The poems they generate then fall into one of two categories: (a) those that stand alone as poems that are understandable at some complete level and (b) those that the reader is far better off listening to the lyrics of the inspiring song to make sense of the poem.
I know lots of folks don’t care if poems makes sense, just like lots of folks don’t care if lyrics make sense. But the idea of someone having a private idea in their head that they don’t really share, but give us a schizoid, scattered, incomplete or jumbled peak at it, as if they don’t really care if we understand (because they get it), is my problem with much of poetry. Though I know many folks think the cool phrases and amazing feelings is enough for them, whether something hangs together or not — much like many songs. But at least the songs got a great tune — that is why poetry is unpopular.
Sabio, I have seen you share this opinion many places now, including poet’s blogs. It is just that, your personal opinion. I can respect it as such. What I cannot respect is your use of such words as “schizoid, scattered, incomplete or jumbled” to refer to anyone’s poetry. We are all drawn to different things in poetry, just as we are drawn to different kinds of music. I can only speak for myself, but I love when I (as the audience) have something to bring to a poem, when it is not all laid out for me clearly. Should every poem be “understandable at some complete level?” I personally do not believe so. Again, this is my personal opinion. If I read something I love, I comment. If I read something I do not love, I am free to move along without comment. I am also free to fall in absolute love (or lust, or massive like, or deep ardent passion) with a particularly stunning turn of phrase, even if I do not fully “understand” the whole poem. This, for me, happens often. And I hope it continues to do so. Words are wonderful things, and the act of sharing them together here makes my poetic heart happy.
I haven’t yet had time to write my pop sonnet, or visit any of the awesome poems here, but I look forward to doing so. April’s crazy! 😉
Sabio Lantz said:
Yes, I am, of course, aware that folks have different taste in these issues. I was expressing mine. I have wondered if people realize that their poems are not understandable and that most readers are just enjoying a turn of a phrase or choice of adjective or two but not really “getting” the poem. Maybe people are hearing their own inner dialogue so loudly they don’t know that others aren’t getting them. As I read comments on many poems, it is clear to me that many readers are not getting them at all (just as I am not), and yet, I think the many writers may not realize that. So I just stated my impression.
I agree with you that poetry should try to communicate something. Poets don’t always succeed. The solution is to be the change you want to see, that is, write the poem you want to read. If it is successful other people may try doing the same thing.
Sabio Lantz said:
Yes, Frank, I think we agree.
Dear Poet friends,
Such a great challenge, so awesome idea! I tried but beg for your pardon: I tried it with these old-Fashioned and mystic personal pronouns thy, thou thee…and I hope, I understood it well enough. Puh…🙄
This time my blog is still closed but I write my Shakespeare Sonnet here (hope, it is okay) and I wish to you having fun with my little song quiz.
Warm Easter Greetings to you all and many thanks for the challenge and inspiration,
Yours Karfunkelfee from Germany
This melody was mystic
something important to say
and I felt the pleasure
for god’s treasure
his work and his done
day by day.
Thou don’t care for harmonies
or should I’m getting wrong?
Listen to my mysteries
they mean one word, no short, no long ;
no wonder – it’s a song.
The fourth, the fifth
the minor falls
the major lifts and all at all
rest only one true word
charming without any sword
thy gift is our playing ball.
Thou saw her bathing on the roof
Her moonlight beauted shine
and beneath thy hardest proof:
Oh damn, why she’s not mine?
She broke you down
down to the chair
she cut and form
thy crown of hair
she broke thy throne
thou knew this dare!
Then came from lips this simple word
and it did belie the sharpest swords
and said I feel the singing rain
in my bloodtruth, in my veins.
I could feel its kindful light
even syllables sound broken
I was searching my ask for sense
and it left me token.
The rest is hidden in a riddle
a simple word in a flow
connecting thou and me
in a middle
Thank you for sharing and happy Easter back to you Karfunkelfee!
Thank you for sharing! I’m struggling to work out what it is but I haven’t given up yet!
I am sure that you will find it…🤗
hm, but I am not so sure if I wrote the old Personal Pronouns correctly. Shakespeare’s ghost went for teatime and didn’t return until now, so I cannot ask him…🤔
Many greetings to you carols the fairy away🎶
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And I am in…just under the wire. Whew. 😉
This was so much fun. And super hard. Thanks, Kim!
Around later tonight to read everybody!
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Happy Easter Kim 🙂
Happy Easter, Lady Lee!
I agree with you that poetry should try to communicate something.
I haven’t yet had time to write my pop sonnet, or visit any of the awesome poems here, but I look forward to doing so.
Thank you, Kathy! I look forward to reading your poetry 😊
I haven’t yet had time to write my pop sonnet, or visit any of the awesome poems here, but I look forward to doing so. […] under the wire for Kim’s awesome Pop Sonnet prompt over at dVerse from Thursday’s Meet the […]
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