The Poem

ThePoemFenn has said, and I believe, that in order to find his hidden treasure, all you need is a copy of the poem he’s written. The poem consists of 6 stanzas, and each Stanza has four lines, like this:

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answer I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.


At the event at Moby Dickens Book Shop in Taos, New Mexico on November 2, 2013, Fenn recited the poem almost entirely from memory. He had to refer to his notes to recall the last stanza.

He also recited parts of two other poems from memory. The first, he said, was from “Alice in Wonderland.” The second was the last stanza from William Ernest Henley’s poem, “Invictus.”

(You can view the entire video of the event here.)

In both cases, the rhyme, meter and structure of the two other poems were exactly the same as Fenn’s treasure poem.

Curiouser and curiouser.

He’s also said, on more than one occasion, that he wrote and refined the poem over a 15 year period, and that he put it together like an architect would have. (Refer to previous posts on video commentary here and here.)

The poem contains 9 sentences. When divided by sentence structure, it looks like this:

  1. As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old.
  2. Begin it where warm waters halt and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.
  3. Put in below the home of Brown.
  4. From there it’s no place for the meek, the end is ever drawing nigh; there’ll be no paddle up your creek, just heavy loads and water high.
  5. If you’ve been wise and found the blaze, look quickly down, your quest to cease, but tarry scant with marvel gaze, just take the chest and go in peace.
  6. So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?
  7. The answer I already know, I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
  8. So hear me all and listen good, your effort will be worth the cold.
  9. If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold.

Again, during the event at Moby Dickens in Taos, Fenn said all the clues were contiguous.

The dictionary defines the word as “…being in actual contact : touching along a boundary or at a point…” But, in Fennspeak, that could mean one or more things. It could mean that it is possible to draw a line from the beginning to the end of the search on a map. Or, that in the field a following clue would be discovered after arriving at the previous clue.

Or, (and this is what I believe) that the clues are in contiguous lines in the poem. Fenn has said that there are nine clues in the poem, and  he has, on more than one occasion, said that the first clue is “Begin it where warm waters halt…” If, as he suggests above, they are contiguous, and that there are nine clues in the poem, the poem would look like this:n (Please remember, this is my opinion, not Fenn’s.)

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

1. Begin it where warm waters halt
2. and take it in the canyon down,
3. not far, but too far to walk.

4. Put in below the home of Brown.
5. From there it’s no place for the meek,
6. the end is ever drawing nigh;

7. there’ll be no paddle up your creek,
8. just heavy loads
9. and water high.

(Note: I have converted the nine clues above into normal sentences without the capitalization associated with the poetic structure. I’ve limited capitalization to the first word in each complete sentence and the proper noun “Brown.”)

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.


It could be argued, of course, that those are not the nine clues, or that there are more than nine clues, or that the entire poem is one great big metaphysical wonder.

But, I tend to take Fenn at his word when it comes to the poem. He has always treated it with an almost religious respect.

One thought on “The Poem

  1. Enjoy reading you blog Toby. The podcast is a great idea. Hope it works out well. Will be back here now and again. Keep it going.

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