Roy Croft

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Roy Croft (sometimes, Ray Croft) is a poet 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] The poem, which is commonly used in wedding speeches and readings is quoted frequently. It 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) and 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. German translations of the poem[2] circulate with the title Ich liebe Dich ("I Love You") but are (wrongly) credited to the Austrian poet Erich Fried. The translation(s) led to the speculation[3] that the poem was just a translation of Erich Fried's work and Roy Croft was 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. Taking into account that the poem was already published in 1936 (where Erich Fried was only 15) it seems very unlikely that Erich Fried could be the author.

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[4]). Investigators such as Ted Nesbitt have surmised[5] 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. If Roy Croft was just pseudonym, the pseudonym itself may have been inspired by the early 20th century Roycroft publishing company.