By Lucien Young
A Shakespearean take on such topics as Kim Kardashian, Tinder and Pikachu.
Publication date: October 2019Support this project
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"O Heisenberg, did not that shaven head
Contain the thought thy wicked deeds could scar thee?
Thou should’st have taught thy chemistry instead
Of cooking crystal in some antique RV..."
From #Sonnet No. 14 - Walter White.
For hundreds of years, the sonnet has captivated poets, including its most famous practitioner, William Shakespeare. Alas, Shakespeare never used his command of iambic pentameter to explore such vital subjects as Snapchat, porn or Austin Powers. Enter comedian and too-much-time-on-his-hands-haver Lucien Young. While Shakespeare only wrote 154 sonnets, Lucien has written 155, making him one better. While Shakespeare kept his feelings on Spider-Man secret, Lucien has no such qualms. And while the immortal bard is unlikely to write you a personalised verse in exchange for £100, Lucien will very much do that…
#Sonnets is a collection of finely-wrought poems on hilariously inappropriate themes. Concerning celebrities like Donald Trump, Kanye West and Marge Simpson, as well as such modern ephemera as texting, wifi and viagra, each verse packs a multitude of gags into its fourteen lines. As with his previous literary pastiches, Alice in Brexitland and Trump’s Christmas Carol, the author has strived to make this book not only funny, but also an accomplished parody of the original. In addition, #Sonnets features gorgeous contributions from the illustrator Ollie Mann, making it an ideal gift. Whether you're a comedy fan, a lover of poetry, or just someone who wants to read an ode to RoboCop, this is the book for you.
About the Book
- 176 page hardback with cloth-effect cover.
- Small, portable format, 111 x 178mm.
- Black and white illustrations throughout by Ollie Mann
- 155 original sonnets of outstanding skill and humour. Shakespeare would be totally owned in a sonnet-rap battle with this guy.
A Note from the Author
I know what thou art thinking: why did I
These sonnets write in twenty-seventeen?
Do I imagine there are people keen
To give my poor pentameter a try?
And, furthermore, who do I hope will buy
A book that doth the noble form demean
With subject matter frivolous, obscene
And quite impossible to dignify?
In truth, I needed it to occupy
My febrile brain, for what a year it’s been
I thought I could, with verse iambic, pry
Some sense from nonsense, and our modern scene
Depict and mock, while using ‘thee’ and ‘thy’
In pages fit to rest by thy latrine.
Lucien Young (@LucienDYoung) is a comedy writer who has worked on various TV programmes, including BBC Three's Siblings and Murder in Successville, as well as authoring two humour books, Alice in Brexitland and Trump’s Christmas Carol. He was born in Newcastle in 1988 and read English at the University of Cambridge, where he was a member of the world-famous Footlights Club. He hopes that writing this bio in the third person will make him sound legit.
A Selection of #Sonnets
When I beheld upon my laptop screen
The best and brightest of our earthly stars
As cover girl of Paper magazine
With gloves and pearls and glist’ning, global arse
Then did my heart with foreign feelings flare
For little had I known erotic passion
Ere I had glimpsed thy shining derriere
And learned thy gilded name, O Kim Kardashian!
But soon my soul did grieve, for I did think
Of how thy form enpixelled might remain
That, IRL, my lips might never drink
A glass of thy butt-balancèd champagne
I need thee, Kim, so prithee do not let
My heart be broken like the internet!
How I do thrill at thy great panoply!
Thine endless content doth my heart content
Ne'er do I grudge thy small subscription fee
Much less the countless hours on thee spent
For when I would my thirsting laptop slake
Assemblest thou the songs of sundry bards
One eve I shall of Stranger Things partake
The next of Narcos, Love or House of Cards
Alas, at times thy wares are so arousing
I cannot choose, and, vainly scrolling on,
I waste my day a thousand programmes browsing
And lose the chance to watch a single one
Man's heart, though lacking naught, still wanteth more
And thus a wealth of choice doth make us poor.
- 17th July 2019 GRATITUDE
Dear legends, whose extreme munificence
And fine discernment know no earthly measure,
Today my gratitude is most intense,
For this PM, I had the untold pleasure
To pop into Unbound, the publisher
Of #Sonnets — wondrous tome, though small —
And sign some copies, making doubly sure
My name was legible, and not some scrawl
As might abash a schoolboy; aye, I’ve striven
To make…3rd April 2019 EMERGENCY BROADCAST
My precious lovelies,
Having received multiple accounts of supporters rending their garments, falling to their knees, and screaming “where, oh where, is #Sonnets?!?!”, I thought I’d make an update.
I’m happy to report that the manuscript is being typeset, the cover is looking fit AF, and the illustrations are complete/gorgeous. Perhaps most pressingly, the supporters list will close…29th December 2018 HO HO HO!
Season's Greetings to you, my treasured supporters! As you've all been very good this year, I'm stuffing your e-stocking with two sonnet-y gifts. First, here's a verse I wrote to mark the occasion:
Secondly, I'm thrilled to report that Ollie Mann has delivered a full consignment of illustrations! They're glorious, and, as a token of my regards, here's one to whet your appetite:
Can you…21st November 2018 A CONSUMMATION DEVOUTLY TO BE WISHED
You lovely people! You've only gone and funded #Sonnets! I'm beyond thrilled that this daft book of mine will now progress to the editorial stage and be published in the New Year. As allergic to sincerity as I am, I'm truly grateful for the support you've shown me. The crowdfunding mountain has, at times, seemed insurmountable, but your kind comments and generous pledges were my Sherpa Tenzing. Genuinely…1st November 2018 NINETY PERCENT!
Dear fair youths and dark ladies,
Your boy’s cock-a-hoop to report that #Sonnets is now 90% funded, with a total of 300 backers! I feel like a modern Leonidas, without the impressive physique, slow motion fight scenes or weird xenophobia. To celebrate, I’ve naturally whipped up a little something for my noble patrons…
So yes, just ten percent remains — one for each syllable in a line of…4th October 2018 A MESSAGE TO MY PATRONS
Dear fairest creatures,
I hope each and every one of you is enjoying a glut of gaiety, an excess of ecstasy and a surfeit of the superb. As for me, I’m a’ight. Pleased and grateful that #Sonnets is now 85% funded. Eager and impatient to smash through that remaining fifteen and get the thing into bookshops both reputable and not.
Thanks again for your generosity in funding this cavalcade of silliness…17th September 2018 EIGHTY AND FEELIN’ GREAT-Y
My dearest darlings,
I’m pleased to a punch-like extent to report that #Sonnets has crossed the 80% mark. I also got engaged this weekend, so it’s been a heady few days. Anyway, the printing presses lie ready and the sonnet-reading public slavers with anticipation, so I must continue my quest to get this deeply daft opus into your hands. To tide you over till then, here’s a sonnet I wrote for the…30th August 2018 SEVENTY-FIVE!
I'm pleased to inform you that everyone's favourite compendium of daft sonnets is now THREE-QUARTERS FUNDED! Mad gratitude and fulsome thanks to every one of you for getting us to this point. I'm nothing if not predictable, so I've written a sonnet to mark the occasion:
Fingers crossed it won't be too long before the thing hits its target. If you'd be kind enough to share…2nd August 2018 When I'm Sixty-Four
I'm jubilant to report that #Sonnets is currently 64% funded! 64 is, as we all know, a superperfect number, i.e. a positive integer n that satisfies
where σ is the divisor summatory function. Anyway, this struck me as an ideal time to share with you a new piece of art by Ollie Mann:
Pretty cool, right? It's also representative of the kind of dope-ass illustration your pledges…20th July 2018 HALFWAY THERE
We've hit 50%! Callooh and, to a lesser extent, callay! In celebration, here's an exclusive sonnet about my recent experiences...
All jokes aside, I hugely appreciate the support of each and every one of you. It's thrilling to think that this profoundly daft book is now closer than not to being funded. I can't wait to get it out there, so please share, retweet, message a friend or hold a billionaire…4th July 2018 'TIS COMING HOME
I thought I'd share with you a sonnet I live-wrote during yesterday's World Cup match, mainly as a means of coping with extreme stress:
Campaign-wise, we're up to 47%, so not all that far from reaching our goal (GET IT?). To hasten the process, it would be lovely if you could whack the share button on social media. Hope everyone's having a splendid summer, football fan and football…4th June 2018 TO MY HEROIC SUPPORTERS
42 (forty-two) is a number fraught with significance. It was famously Douglas Adams’ Answer to the Question of Life, The Universe and Everything. Multiply it by ten and you get the time stoners commence their chiefing of the kind bud. It was also the age at which Prince Albert died, presumably from the shock of discovering they’d named a cock ring after him. Most pertinently to us, 42 is the percent…21st May 2018 'With Nature's own hand painted...'
Each of you has my eternal gratitude for pledging towards #Sonnets, but did you know you're not just supporting daft poetry? No, your kindness is also funding a tonne of gorgeous, Elizabethan-style illustrations from the disgustingly talented Ollie Mann. I imagine you've already seen his Kim Kardashian, so here's Ollie's take on my Snoop Dogg sonnet:
Pretty great…11th May 2018 A THIRD!
Today’s a day both wonderful and stirring
For now the pledges that I hath incurred
Doth stand at thirty-three point three recurring
Which sweet percentage we may call a third
But, though I fear this seems fanatical,
I cannot rest or let my effort slow
For, using powers mathematical,
I glean that we have two thirds yet to go
Therefore I doth implore thee, pledger kind,
Fair patron, who would…23rd April 2018 A Sonnet Upon Reaching 25%
Dear lords and ladies, who doth pledge thy name
That I, poor fool, might make these humble verses,
Lend me your ears, for now I would proclaim
The wondrous news my fervent brain rehearses!
’Tis bliss immeasurable to be alive
Upon this golden, many-splendored day:
Thy pledges to percentage twenty-five
Are climbed, which I with joyous eye survey!
’Tis true, three quarters more…17th April 2018 THE BIG TWO-OH
Well, I’m delighted to report that #Sonnets is 20% funded! As the proud bearer of a B in GCSE Mathematics, I can tell you that this means we’re a fifth of our way to publication. A FIFTH! Just like Beethoven’s greatest symphony, the day in November we’re meant to remember, and the amount of vodka Eminem drank before he asked if you dared him to drive! Hmm, ‘fifth’ is a weird word when you keep looking…
These people are helping to fund #Sonnets.
Paco B. Garcia
Amy St johnston