4 Poetry Collections to Read After Listening to Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine

Just like poetry, Ariana Grande’s latest album—titled Eternal Sunshine and loosely based on the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – takes its audience through both heart-racing highs and turbulent, despairing, lows. While songs like “don’t wanna break up again” and “i wish i hated you” chronicle the desperate last moments of a fraught relationship, they’re juxtaposed on the album with flirty bops like “the boy is mine” and lovestruck ballads like “ordinary things.” A true Cancer, Grande has always deeply felt her emotions, as well as shared them with her fans. These four collections showcase poets doing the same.


Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac by Dorothea Lasky and Alex Dimitrov


Eternal Sunshine shows Grande getting in touch with her mystical side on “saturn returns interlude,” a spoken word track that delves into the astrological-significance of the Saturn cycle and the rediscovery of one’s self that must occur when it ends. She plays with similar themes on “supernatural,” a song responding to a dreamy and seemingly fated new love. Like Grande, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac explores the cosmic elements of everyday life, leaning on spiritual insights to inform romance, self-awareness, and more. Find out what’s going on in your chart—just like astrology fan Ariana. 


Pillow Thoughts II: Mending the Heart by Courtney Peppernell


Like many of Grande’s other albums, Eternal Sunshine explores love—but this time with a more emotional, nuanced, and adult perspective. On the album, Grande explores finding a love she thought would last forever and then reckons with its ending. She also navigates a new love in the midst of controversy. Pillow Thoughts II: Mending the Heart by beloved poet Courtney Peppernell goes on a journey that mirrors this complexity, with multiple sections depicting the extremes that love can delve into and the many stages through which it can pass. Like Eternal Sunshine, Pillow Thoughts II: Mending the Heart acknowledges that healing isn’t linear or simple. 


I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer


Parts of Eternal Sunshine feel like letters to Ariana’s ex and to her new love, but others feel like letters to fans, tabloids, and the outside world. The song “true story” best reflects this, with Grande pushing back against “all the lies” and resigning herself to “play the villain” if everyone insists. The album’s first single, “yes, and?” has a similar subject matter, acting as a direct response to media speculation and scandal. I Hope This Finds You Well by Kate Baer has an equally confrontational streak, drawing on words from online critics and trolls in an effort to create something courageous and beautiful from the wreckage. 


Couplets: A Love Story by Maggie Milner


One of the most awarded poetry collections from the last year, Couplets is a novel in verse that explores one relationship ending, another beginning, and the personal discoveries this tumult leads to. Throughout the collection, Milner explores how finding love may introduce a need to stop people-pleasing and to face one’s true self with radical honesty, truths Grande also wakes up to in Eternal Sunshine


Looking for more poetry recommendations based on some of the year’s top album releases? Check out our roundup of collections to read if you loved Kacey Musgraves’ Deeper Well.