Erik Didriksen’s Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs is a collection of verse fashioned in the literary style of a Shakespearean sonnet. As I was reading through the book, I was amazed by Didriksen’s skill in weaving sonnets from a variety of musical genres encompassing classic rock, country, R&B and pop. This mixture allows all music lovers to find sonnets to personally inspire them. Further, Didriksen’s sonnets capture the spirit of the songs. For example, he interprets Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”: “Although thy image fades at th’ break of dawn, my heart, with thee inside, will e’er go on.”
The book is divided into Sonnets of Love, Despair, Time and Morality, Rogues, Rascals and Wanton Women and finally, Ballads of Heroes. Such literary guideposts effectively direct the reader to those sonnets that might strike a particular emotional chord. There is such a wealth of songs to work with and Didriksen seems to enthusiastically approach the musical buffet. If you love music and enjoy Shakespeare (as I do), this book will bring a smile to your face.
“For Shakespeare would smile
Long into the night
As Pop Sonnets is a joyous poetic delight.”
My verse doesn’t begin to capture the marvel that is Didriksen’s book. His creative treasure pays homage to Shakespeare. By “marrying” Shakespearean sonnets with the tempo of popular songs, Didriksen has produced a memorable and enduring gem. I believe William Shakespeare would approve.