Footprints Poem Leads to Authorship Suit

Long Island man claims his mom wrote poem in Great Depression
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 3:51 PM CDT
The plaintiff claims that millions of dollars in Footprints-related merchandise are at stake.   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – A religious poem that adorns coffee mugs and T-shirts worldwide may now inspire a court battle, the Washington Post reports. A Long Island man has filed suit claiming that his mother wrote the inspirational work, "Footprints in the Sand." At least a dozen others have claimed authorship of the poem, which has raked in millions of dollars in merchandising.

Margaret Fishback Powers, a Canadian poet, says she wrote the poem as a teenager. Self-proclaimed poet Carolyn Joyce Carty claims to have scribbled it down in 1963, at age 6. But last fall, one literary sleuth traced elements of the poem to an 1880 sermon, raising the possibility that no one person penned "Footprints."