By Malaika Jabali, essence.com
What’s the French word for “Columbusing?”
The late Canadian poet Pierre DesRuisseaux — who once held the post as Canada’s Poet Laureate — was caught plagiarizing the work of a handful of artists, including Tupac Shakur and Maya Angelou in his 2013 book Tranches de vie.
First, artist Kathy Figueroa discovered similarities between DesRuisseaux’s “I Rise” and Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.”
A selection in Tranches de vie, translated from French, reads:
“You can wipe me from the pages of history/with your twisted falsehoods/you can drag me through the mud/but like the wind, I rise.”
Fans of acclaimed author Maya Angelou may recognize the original line: “You may write me down in history/With your bitter, twisted lies, /You may trod me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”