Roy Croft

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Roy Croft is a poet (or translator; see below) frequently given credit for writing a poem titled "Love" and beginning "I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.".[1] This poem, which is commonly used in wedding speeches and readings and is quoted frequently, is nearly identical in meaning to a German-language poem [2] titled Ich liebe Dich ("I Love You") and composed by Austrian poet Erich Fried; the main difference is that Croft's version stops at the third-from-last line of Fried's poem, with the effect that Fried's poem contains two final lines for which Croft's version has no equivalent. Croft's version appears without further attribution in The Family Book of Best Loved Poems, edited by David L. George and published in 1952 by Doubleday & Company, Inc., then of Garden City, New York.

Little is known about the poet himself: A poet by this name had a 28-page collection published in 1979 by Blue Mountain Arts Press (now known as Blue Mountain Arts Inc. and specializing in "inspirational" books and greeting cards[3]). Investigators such as Ted Nesbitt have surmised[4] that if this Roy Croft is the same poet whose work appears in the Doubleday anthology above, his nationality was American and he lived at some time between the years 1905 and 1980. Some amateur investigators have speculated[5] that "Roy Croft" is a pseudonym used by a translator who wanted to keep all royalties from publication (rather than sharing them with Fried's estate) or who simply did not want to go through the trouble of obtaining a license from a foreign entity. Whatever the translator's motive for using the Roy Croft pseudonym, the pseudonym itself may have been inspired by the early 20th century Roycroft publishing company.

The poem "Love" was included in a 1936 anthology entitled "Best Loved Poems of American People" edited by a Hazel Felleman, and published by Doubleday (ISBN 0-385-00019-7) . The poem is attributed to Roy Croft. This would seem to imply that regardless of the origins of Mr. Croft, that Erich Fried in fact appropriated the poem himself and translated it into German, as he would have been only 15 in 1936. Seeing as the book was a compilation of best loved American poems, it is hard to see how he could be the author.

The reading public's interest in Croft's identity and biographical details is comparable to or greater than its interest in the "Love" poem itself: Google's record of searches[when?] indicates that the keywords "Roy Croft Love"[clarification needed] have been searched 105,000 times while the keywords "Roy Croft wiki"[clarification needed] have been searched 398,000 times.[citation needed]


  1. ^ " - Love Poems, Readings and Quotations". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  2. ^ "Erich fried, die besten -". Archived from the original on 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  3. ^ "Blue Mountain Arts :: About Us". Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  4. ^ Ted Nesbitt's collected information on Roy Croft
  5. ^ Retrieved 2009-10-26.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]

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