Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Pop Sonnets: Shakespeare and Contemporary Music

Have you seen the Pop Sonnets tumblr?

It’s a simple yet ingenious formula: taking lyrics from popular songs and rewriting them in the form of a Shakespearean sonnet. The creativity on display here is delightful.

Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” receives this final couplet: “If truly you did wish to win my hand, you should have graced it with a wedding band.” Elsewhere, the theme song from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” opens with “From western Philadelphia I hail, where in my youth I’d play upon the green”.

If you’re having difficulty getting students to take an interest in Shakespeare’s sonnets, maybe this could be a good way to capture their attention.

After all, as The Huffington Post excitedly puts it…

We’ve got lesson plans for teaching the sonnets and a great resource in Folger Digital Texts that you can use, but for more on that, you should read a blog post that we published in August.

And if you really want to have an awesomely nerdy moment, this blog post insightfully points out how the distinctive typography of Pop Sonnets helps achieve an “old-timey” feel.

 

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