LOS ANGELES - All Eyez on him!
It’s been revealed that late Canadian poet Pierre DesRuisseaux lifted direct quotes from famous writers like Maya Angelou, Dylan Thomas, and rapper Tupac Shakur!
Billboard published an example comparing Tupac’s “Sometimes I Cry” with DesRuisseaux’s “When I’m Alone.”
“Sometimes I Cry” (fragment):
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
“When I’m Alone” (fragment):
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.
That’s what you call poetic sampling!
Poet Kathy Figueroa was the first to scrutinize DesRuisseaux’s work when she noticed a resemblance between one of his poems and the Maya Angelou classic “Still I Rise.” She posted the similarities to a Facebook group entitled Plagiarism Alerts and the internet sleuths started working overtime.
From this, poetry detective – that’s an actual thing? – Ira Lightman further investigated and found that over half of the poems in DesRuisseaux’s book Tranches de vie featured uncanny similarities with poets like Charles Bukowski and Federico García Lorca.
In DeRuisseaux’s defense, he did suffer from a brain disorder, which some believe may have been the reason why he failed to attribute credit to his poems.
Regardless, Tranches de vie – which was published in 2013 – has reportedly been taken off shelves.
Justice for 2Pac!