Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trump's "Irish proverb": who actually authored it and who copied it?

Of the "Irish proverb" recited by President Trump, CNN made some news suggesting the proverb was actually a poem written by a Nigerian:

"My sister just brought the news to me. I didn't want to believe what she said initially,"
Albasheer Adam Alhassan, a Nigerian banker who wrote the poem in college, said.
"I posted those things when I was back in school, over 10 years ago. I never thought it would get to this level."

link to CNN post:

But a post from the Guardian suggests the text goes back to a time earlier than 10 years ago:

Many on Twitter were thrilled to find the poem seemed to have been written by Nigerian poet Albashir Adam Alhassan. The poem appears under his name on PoemHunter, a website which collects famous poems as well as those submitted by users. Alhassan’s was submitted on 22 January 2013.


But this poem is all over the place. And we’re not just talking random websites festooned with shamrocks and more Irish stereotypes than an Ed Sheeran track. It appears in many motivational and quote collection books.

It’s on page 388 of Crystal Inspirations by Joanne Tuttle, published in 2012. It appears on page 325 of the Speaker’s Quote Book by Roy B Zuck, published in 1997.


The earliest appearance, at least as far as Google Books is concerned, is in volume 31 of the International Stereotypers’ and Electrotypers’ Union Journal, published in 1936 in America.

The post at the Guardian St Patrick's Day: Trump's 'Irish proverb' provokes derision on the web


Post a Comment

<< Home