An award-winning deceased Canadian poet was discovered to have plagiarized a poem written by 2Pac before his death for a 2013 compilation.
The writer, Pierre DesRuisseaux, recently had his work translated by self-proclaimed “poetry detective” Ira Lightman who found that 30 of the book’s 47 poems were based on the work of others. Out of the 30, there were several instances where lines were lifted from 2Pac’s “Sometimes I Cry” poem. DesRuisseaux made some minor changes to the original and put it in the book. The poet died last January and was given a very high honor in French poetry which will now be brought into question after the latest claims. He was named Canada’s fourth parliamentary poet laureate and was awarded the Governor General’s Award for French poetry.
People began questioning the authenticity of his work last year after poet Kathy Figueroa noticed similarities between an English translation of DesRuisseux’s ‘J’Avance,’ and Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise.'” The claim made it to social media and DesRuisseaux’s work was brought into question by poetry buffs. The 2013 work titled “Tranches de via” was taken out of circulation by his publisher after the news broke.
Original: "When I Cry" by Tupac Shakur
Sometimes when I’m alone
I cry because I’m on my own
The tears I cry are bitter and warm
They flow with life but take no form
Copy: "When I’m Alone" by Pierre DesRuisseaux
Sometimes when I’m alone I cry
Because I’m alone.
The tears I cry are bitter and burning.
They flow with life, they do not need reason.