Plagiarism and Foolery on the Internet

"I’d Pick More Daisies", more prose than poetry, is a short, lyrical, elegant expression of wistful regrets for a life too prudently lived.

This text, however, has been published in a number of closely related forms. Plagiarism and re-working of earlier versions appear regularly and have been attributed to various authors, including Nadine Stair, Frank Dickey, Jorge Luis Borges, an unknown friar, Brother Jeremiah, Robert Hastings, Don Herold, and Jenny Joseph, among others. At times the poem is attributed to an anonymous female writer — 83, 85, 87, 93, or 97 years old — "dying of cancer" or "on her death bed", from Kentucky, Nebraska, or Georgia. Another source reports her as "79 years young". Yet another attribution of the poem is to "Ray Lucht, 85 years old, Commission on Aging for Senior Iowans". At other times it is attributed to an unknown friar in Nebraska, and occasionally New York; at least once he was said to be a Franciscan monk.

The poem has been translated into no fewer than six additional languages. Spanish versions — usually attributed to Jorge Luis Borges — are frequently found, and Gabriel García Márquez has also been fraudulently named as the author of a similar text. French, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Portuguese versions are additionally known.

close this windowFor an in-depth analysis of the true authorship of these inspiring words (Don Herold, in the October 1953 issue of Reader’s Digest magazine), you can download an informative e-book by Dutch researcher Benjamin Rossen.