The Poem as Nine Sentences……

by Bowmarc



I am sure that this theory or process has been brought to light before; none-the-less, I am putting it out there with my own insight and reasoning.

This entire post is IMO and I will endeavor to back up any FF quotes, assertions, etc. where/when possible.

As the title line states, I will be breaking FF’s poem down into 9 sentences based solely upon the punctuation that FF himself has provided us with.

That being said, this is how the poem looks as 9 sentences:

As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep it 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 answers I already know I’ve done it tired and now I am weak.

So listen all and hear me good, your effort will be worth the cold.

If you are brave and in the wood I give you title to the gold.

*I must add that with the exception of the word “Brown”, which FF himself capitalized in his poem, I have only capitalized the first word in each of the sentences derived from FF’s poem.

For those who are new to TTOTC, I will be using abbreviations and terms that have evolved within this treasure hunting community (and, in hindsight, I have already used some above) and will attempt to define those for you below or when such are first used within my post. This list is not exhaustive and so far includes the following:

FF = Forrest Fenn (the master wordsmith who has set us all to the task of finding his hidden treasure)

TTOTC = The Thrill of the Chase (a book by FF in which he includes an untitled poem which leads to a treasure he hid somewhere) (Also the “feelings” which we searches experience while looking for the treasure)

Indulgence = the name given to the treasure hidden by FF

BOTG = Boots on the Ground (the act of physically going to a location and actively searching for Indulgence)

Stanza = a group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem (FF’s poem is said to have 6 stanzas consisting of 4 lines per stanza)

IMO = In My Opinion

ATF = Unknown to this writer so including it more as a question (I think it means After the Fact)

Sometimes as I am breaking down FF’s poem, I will be referencing lines in his stanzas by capitalizing the first letter of each word in said line. For example, if the line I am about to reference/dissect reads “begin it where warm waters halt” I will refer to it as BIWWWH, and further refer to subsections by similar means (for example, WWWH is simply Where Warm Waters Halt, a subsection of the line currently being discussed).

I have primarily used the 1828 online version of Webster’s Dictionary to identify each word’s part of speech and associated definition, as well as other various internet dictionaries to further identify and define words as needed (for example, some words were not defined in the 1828 version so I had to look elsewhere). I have not further researched word origins and/or translated them to/from any other language as to do such may be, IMO, going against the spirit of FF’s quote that “…Knowing about head pressures, foot pounds, …” (Tarry Scant website ID# 2775) et al. Also, to do such is an undertaking I am not yet prepared to embark upon at this time as my current work (this document) consumes a lot of my time & mental resources. 🙂

At the end of each breakdown I will have a TRANSLATION from “Fenn-ese” (Fenn-ese = The written and/or expressed word or words as used and understood by Forrest Fenn) to “Bowmarc-ese” (Bowmarc-ese = Bowmarc’s interpretation(s) of Fenn-ese). 🙂

Before I begin, I wanted to state that I am not an English professor, and confess that the subject was one I was loath to conform to (perhaps much like FF?) and one of my worst subjects throughout my entire educational endeavors. That being said, my use of grammar, punctuation, spelling, terminology, etc. are just to the best of my ability and understanding and not intended to flaunt my education level (or lack thereof) and are intended to convey meaning, provide food for thought, articulate a point, beat a dead horse, etc. and not intended as a platform to belittle or talk down to anyone and I hereby apologize to anyone who takes offense to anything I have written and/or to how it is written. In other words, I am just trying to be thorough, logical, etc. and apologize if any reader takes offense for how I am doing so.

With all that being said, here goes:

Sentence #1 is “As I have gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep it where, and hint of riches new and old.” = All hints and an opening statement about what is being done and what must be done. FF has to provide his reader with an introduction to his poem as well as giving his reader some information regarding the poem’s purpose, which sentence #1 does.

As = an adverb meaning that or while.

I = a pronoun for myself. NOTES: marks a distinction between the speaker (or writer in this case) and another person

Have = transitive verb meaning to possess/Marry/regard/maintain (maintain meaning affirm). NOTES: is this the past tense and does that really matter?

Gone = passive participle meaning departed/advanced/ruined; (abstractly) departed from life. NOTES: As FF is currently not deceased, I don’t feel the abstract definition is applicable.

Alone = adjective meaning single/without company/only NOTES: FF as affirmed on several occasions that he was by himself when he hid the treasure and that he is the only one who knows where it is hidden so I won’t reference a specific quote at this time, but perhaps a little ATF. 🙂

In = preposition meaning surrounded by limits.

There = adverb meaning in that place/thither/to that point or ends.

And = conjunction meaning further.

With = preposition meaning in connection.

My = pronoun and/or adjective meaning belonging to me.

Treasures = noun meaning wealth accumulated/particularly a stock or store of money in reserve/a great quantity of anything collected for future use; transitive verb meaning to hoard/collect/reposit. NOTES: an “s” is added to either make plural nouns or to form the 3rd person singular of the present simple tense (I work, you work, he works)—treasures, IMO, is not a 3rd person singular therefore the noun definition/usage is more favorable than the transitive verb definition/usage, therefore the “s” makes the noun treasure plural.

Bold = adjective meaning forward/prominent/daring/executed with spirit/without fear; transitive verb meaning to make daring. NOTES: the transitive verb definition is archaic. As an adjective we need to determine what noun bold is referring to—since there is a conjunction (and) earlier in this sentence, everything before the “and” is a separate clause from everything after the “and”, therefore bold has to refer to something in the second clause, leaving treasures as the subject of the adjective bold. (*However, see translation #2 later on)

, (Comma) = punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, denotes a slight break between different parts of a sentence, or separates items in a list. Used properly, commas make the meaning of a sentence clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.

I = pronoun meaning myself.

Can = noun meaning cup or vessel; transitive verb meaning to be able to / to have means. NOTES: pretty sure it is not meaning a cup or vessel.

Keep = transitive verb meaning to hold / to have in custody for security / to preserve (from falling or damage) / to tend / to maintain

My = pronoun and/or adjective meaning belonging to me.

Secret = an adjective meaning properly, separate, hence hid/concealed from notice or knowledge of all persons except the individual(s) concerned/removed from sight/not proper, hence ought to be kept from observation; a noun meaning something studiously concealed/a mystery; a verb meaning to keep private. NOTES: KMSW could mean I, FF, am going to keep my private place to myself (more loosely “translated” FF is saying I can keep my secret place secret)(While I dislike defining a word/phrase using a word that is to be defined, I feel “I can keep my secret place secret” translates FF’s line fairly well and may be the first time I have translated said line thusly and/or read of it being translated thusly). In other words, “secret where” is a thing (his secret someplace), not a reference to the treasure being someplace. In more other words, the line can be read “I can keep my secret where.” as in I have the resolve to not reveal my private spot under any circumstances (well, except I can and did hint of it).

Where = an adverb meaning at which place or places/whither (whither = absolutely/to what point or degree); a pronoun meaning what place/the place in which; a noun meaning a place.

, (Comma) = punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, denotes a slight break between different parts of a sentence, or separates items in a list. Used properly, commas make the meaning of a sentence clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.

And = conjunction meaning further.

Hint = a transitive verb meaning to bring to mind by slight mention or remote allusion/to allude to; intransitive verb meaning to mention slightly; a noun meaning a word or two intended to give notice, or remind one of something without a full declaration or explanation.

Of = a preposition meaning proceeding from (proceeding = participle present tense meaning moving forward/passing on/issuing/transacting/carrying on).

Riches = a noun meaning wealth/possession of land, good, or money in abundance/a splendid, sumptuous appearance; a plural noun meaning abundant and valuable possessions

New = adjective meaning lately made/modern, not ancient; not familiar with

And = conjunction meaning further.

Old = adjective meaning having been long made/ancient; in vulgar language, crafty or cunning

. (Period) = punctuation mark indication a full stop/expresses the finality of what is being said (written).

TRANSLATION 1 = While I (FF) affirm that I once departed into a place with limits in no one’s company but indeed with a prominent collection of items of value belonging to me, I myself am able to maintain private knowledge of a place known as such to me, while also (herein) being able to make slight mention of an abundance of valuable possessions that are lately made or ancient.

NOTES REGARDING TRANSLATION 1 = FF has been quoted as responding to a question about the rules of capitalization being properly followed in his poem with “Whose Rules, ChicagoDave?” (Tarry Scant website ID #3216) so one may also assume that the proper rules of punctuation, etc. are equally questioned by FF in whole or in part. That being said, and for that reason, I give you Translation #2 below.

TRANSLATION 2 = While I (FF) affirm that I once departed with strength of resolve and purpose into a place with limits in no one’s company but indeed with a prominent collection of items of value belonging to me, I myself am able to maintain private knowledge of a place known as such to me, while also (herein) being able to make slight mention of an abundance of valuable possessions that are lately made or ancient.

NOTES REGARDING TRANSLATION 2 = In this version I allude to FF possibly using bold to refer back to himself in the clause before the “and” as well as, in the interest of space, also still alluding to the treasure as bold (prominent). A lot of chatter online about double meanings and this is an example of such (albeit obscurely) i.e. using the word bold to describe himself and the treasure with one usage of the word.

That’s about the end of my current line of thinking regarding line one of FF’s poem when such is broken down into 9 sentences. My plans are to post my thoughts on each of the 9 sentences at a pace of about 1 sentence a week, give or take a few days. I am well into completing my take on BIWWWH so it may be forthcoming sooner than later.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


188 thoughts on “The Poem as Nine Sentences……

  1. I have also done this, written the poem as a paragraph. It reads much differently as complete sentences and gave me a whole new perspective, instead of trying to decipher it as a rhyme. It led me to a couple possible solves that I look forward to trying with BOTG 🙂

  2. My two cents on this work is why hasn’t it been done like this before?

    Perhaps it has and I missed it, but BOWMARC Kudos for your effort to focus this detailed exam of a rather obscure, esoteric poem.

    The one conclusion I came to after this reading was that you must live in Corporate America somewhere, are you an attorney, actuary, CPA or just well educated?

    Why the version of dictionary of days and meanings gone by? I think I know but Tarry along with me, connotations are always creeping into vocabulary let alone technology jargon and what about influences like foreign languages?

    Hard to adjust when so many tangents and darts come at you, must say I for one like foolin with his poem if it moves the paradigm from the same old stuff we read or see.


    • TT – BA in BS…I mean History. 🙂
      I’m not in any of those professions listed, but I do work around them and live/work in a small town environment.
      Thanks for commenting.

    • It’s been done before – probably by several – just not publicly licised before ..

      Broken Brad

    • Everyone reading this should stop what they are doing and read the comments on the page posted by 9equals9.

      2013 F2F would respond to so many emails.


  3. IMO (no H ever),, seems a bit far
    for fellow wirh a p. u. trk, and a passel of younuns.

  4. ps. luv the handle BOWMARC,,
    OUR first real SAM , from ancient days
    A good looking critter it was. I thimk there was one on display for a while on a mount at the
    entrance to to the A. F. academy

    • There’s also one at Hill and there might be one on the North End of White Sands .. somewhere East of the Range near one of the Science Communities is a Cadre of Early Missiles on Display along the side of the road – just on the East side of the high point of the Mountains I believe .. Corporal, Little John , I forget what else ..

  5. Have you looked up the combination of the words in the first line? A wordsmith combines words to form an idea or meaning. FF said that he started with where his bones and treasurer would rest and hammered the poem out from there”not sure where i read that at”.

    Don’t forget there’s more than one treasure to hunt.

    • The way I translate the first stanza(aka IMO), when read as a sentence it says:

      ff- As I’ve gone alone in there and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where, and hint of riches new and old.

      me- Seeing as how I’ve only gone in there alone and with my treasure, I can keep my secret of where it is, and hint to you about the riches’ location.

      • Imperfekt – I’m not sure if what I am about to write is similar to what you are trying to state or not, so please comment after.

        I can see part of the first sentence reading as a combining of the “and with my treasures bold, I can keep my secret where” and then translating it something along the lines of “I went by myself into the Rocky Mountains and along with my valuables kept in plain sight at my secret place, I can keep and hint of such secret valuables.”

        Even that translation is not exactly how I am trying to express it, so let me try again without translating so much. I think that “and with my treasures bold” can tie in with “,I can keep my secret where” in that FF can keep both of them secret and the translation of such would be something like “I can keep my special place and my valuables, which are in plain sight, a secret”.

        • I was thinking that “as” is a weird way to start a sentence and that it must mean “seeing as to how” I’ve gone alone in there…

          or more clearly, “since I’ve only gone in there alone and with my treasures, I am able to keep my secret [of] where [it is] (because nobody has gone there with me and my treasure) and give you the following hints”

          …of treasures new and old (‘new and old’ as describing the treasure, new and old coins, artifacts, gems etc…)

          All of that is just my interpretation though…

          • As = Since -I have gone alone in there – You too should be alone when you go in there – or at least not be observed is one interpretation.

            “..And with my treasures bold…” And with all of my childhood memories of this place…and the treasures I hold in this box”

            “And hint of treasures new and old.” Think of all that has happened in this special place within my lifetime (new) and throughout the eons of time that go back to the very creation of this earth. Treasures – remembering (or learning and knowing) about the peoples that have made this place their home all of the way back to the paleo-indians 11,000 years ago – to the Native Americans that made this their home for hundreds and hundreds of years, until the “White Man” pushed him off of “his” land.

          • Having had a couple of years to reflect back on this, I am now of the opinion that “As I have gone alone in there” is a simple statement to the effect that because FF was by himself he is the only one who can guide us to Indulgence via hints of riches new and old.

            Put slightly differently, “As I have gone alone in there” boils down to a statement of a fact by FF because he is the “I” of the stanza and the only one who can provide the hints (there is no other way to his knowlege).

  6. I like the detail, but wonder if you might hit a place where you can’t see the Forrest for the trees. Nice research though.

  7. Thanks a lot for that.

    Maybe what Forrest means when he keeps telling us that we need to focus more on the significance of the first clue– he means the first stanza, not wwwh.

    Done and doing… Back in business!

    • I’ve been saying that for two and a half years — the First Stanza is NOT A THROW AWAY – IT’S IMPORTANT ..

      Broken Brad

  8. I think we all have broken the poem down in our own way,yet can’t find the treasure.language,speech,speak,tell,rumors whisper,secret,blaze.they are all brown,we can not speek with out air,breath,wind,thats my answer to the poem.I can’t see the wind,but I know it blows grasses,trees,if I fog up a mirror with my breath,I know air did it,breath.the breath of all.when God made adam from the dust of the ground,he breath life into adam,and he became a living soul.with out breath,wind,air,we are dead.

  9. Very nice job. You’ve put a lot of time into this post and we appreciate it. Your ultimate translation is very similar to my own and probably others (I was going to joke that you must have gotten onto my computer) but yours is nicely captured in one place. Mine is spread out all over the place, scraps of paper, computer files, in my head 🙂 Anyway, thank you for sharing this. I look forward to your next installment.

  10. Thanks for the diffrent way of breaking it down.
    Kinda sounds like legaleeze in a way but hey, what if it works!!

    Eagerly looking for the next one.

  11. The nine clues being nine sentences is a position that I subscribe to as well. In fact, if you consider all of the statements he’s made to be more or less accurate, it is the conclusion you’re supposed to accept. It’s a treasure hunt, so maybe you’re not supposed to apply logic correctly, but if you do apply it in the way that logic is supposed to be applied, you’re supposed to come to this conclusion.

    There’s arguments against the nine clues being nine sentences, certainly, and they’ve been discussed at length. These arguments are largely based on after-the-fact comments he’s made in radio interviews. One example searchers point to is a statement in which he said that “Begin it where warm waters halt…” is the first clue. Another is playful banter with a radio host where he said that it sounds like there’s three or four clues in the second stanza. There’s a number of reasons, I feel, why these statements don’t detract from the premise that his original statement in the book, that he wrote nine clues to follow, was in reference to the nine sentences from the poem.

    There’s been very long threads on this topic, so I’ll just summarize my defense of this position by saying that historically there was a book published in 2010, and lots and lots of interviews, blog and forum posts, and emails sent to him for years after, and that all of this discussion plays a part in his later responses.

    The Chase is not a static thing. It evolves. He has actively read emails, theories, and solves written about his poem for years. His own opinions about the poem he, himself wrote may have changed over time. Or maybe they haven’t, who knows, but I think there’s value in considering the poem as something he published in 2010, and his statement that he “wrote nine clues” was likewise a 2010 statement, and when looked at from that perspective the nine clues from that statement where the nine sentences that followed in the poem.

    I don’t reject the idea that you’re supposed to abandon logic, because it is, after all, a treasure hunt, but I do maintain that if you apply logic correctly, the correct conclusion is that nine clues = nine sentences.

    • I don’t know about 9 sentences – I see 24 lines. There’s a clue I never saw coming and now all I do is ponder and think there was an overall big picture, big message. And I ponder the wow – “Listen ALL and hear me . . . ” and “I give you title . . .” And the plain English of the word, “you” which unlike other languages can refer to one or more ‘other’ people. So, I ponder the “Listen all and hear me . . . I give you’ll title . . .” and wow the concept gives on an entirely new meaning to the entire poem. Something to ponder and incorporate into my ‘solve.’ Jeremy, I don’t think logic is of concern; I think there is a message that needs to hit home. IMO

    • Jeremy –

      You are ignoring the structure of the poem.

      I believe he wrote the clues and they fit between Begin and Cease.

      He added the lines before and after because he was following a lesson called How to write a poem. It’s was probably called How to write a ballad. His poem is in the exact form one learns when writing poetry and beginning with the ballad.

      My 2 cents,

      • The structure of the poem work whether you’re looking at all nine sentences, or just the parts you mentioned, so I disagree. I’d go one further and say that the structure of the poem being nine sentences is exactly why you shouldn’t be looking for some other nine you believe might be there. One nine he wrote, the other nine is just what people think.

      • I tend to agree with this Lug, however I also believe that what some, including FF, might consider a hint others may consider a clue. And vice versa. I believe that there is a few key words in stanza’s outside of the words begin and cease that help a searcher whether you call it a hint or a clue. Even if a person says a hint helps with a clue by definition couldn’t that be a clue too? According to Merriam Webster:

        Clue -something that guides through an intricate procedure or maze of difficulties; specifically :a piece of evidence that leads one toward the solution of a problem

        If it helps lead to a solution it’s a clue in my mind.

    • Jeremy. That is a well stated argument for the one clue per sentence view. I’m going to give that strong consideration. At the very least, I do not believe that all of the clues are contained between “begin” and “cease”.

      • Thanks, Tom. To support your belief that not all clues are contained between “begin” and “cease”, I’ll offer up Forrest’s recent statement that “you can’t ignore any of the nouns.”

        Here’s a natural language processor from Stanford:

        If you drop the poem in there, you sure do get a lot of nouns outside of those words.

        • Jeremy P.

          To me nouns was a correction of his earlier advice to not ignore any words.

          The clues my be contained from Begin to Peace and there may still be value in the intro and summary stanzas.


          • Refinement?

            Once he said not ignore any words. Then we put hundreds of thousands of words into what he said.

            Then he said not to ignore any noun.


          • C’mon Lugnutz, I know it’s heresy and all to think the nine sentences are the nine clues, but you don’t know the power of the Dark Side. Come to the Dark Side with me… the water’s warmer… 🙂

          • Oh I am quite sorry to remind you that YOU are retired.

            Also Eagle Nest Lake was created when they dammed Cimarron river in 1918.

          • Lug,
            “Risky to discount” and/or “each word was deliberate” doesn’t mean don’t ignore, as much as, intentionally over look, line of thinking…
            Another words, what looks like plain English to some might be more important than most think.
            You might recall some examples of the word creek… possibilities… a narrow passage and not so much a ditch with running water. Or could it be more of a hint to give some idea of the landscape around younad not so much a clue… between a rock and a hard place [ kinda like, two shear rock-walls to travel through, or an natural stone arch or bridge etc. etc. ] reasons for observing and not target fixated-?- following a ditch with running water.

            Plain English, just not as plain, straightforward [easy] as some would like.

          • I’ll add this thought as well Lugnutz,
            Fenn chose the avenue of a poem to present the clues… why do you think he did that? Flare? likes rhymes? filled a page in his book?

            I think it’s because a poem allows a writer almost unlimited word usages and multiple meaning for any word, not just one meaning, and yes, still be in plain English… Like fenn said; they look like simple words… but he work on it.
            Now if we take it a step farther… and add in the idea of, an architect wrote the poem, we have yet another added possibility… the actual structure / design of the poem.

            Sure, sure, that over complicating thing again…
            but fenn is a clever man… why not just place clues in the book, and skip a “poem” I mean, that would be just as difficult, right? Pictures, illustrations, clues buried within the stories, maybe even some missing page numbers, or misspelled words or incorrect phrase of others authors a one page chapter of the place he’s in love with… right?
            If I remember correct, it took a short time to write 147 page book [ weeks or months ] and 15 years to complete the poem, just right.

            LOL why bother being clever when you can use everyday words in plain English, and all their meanings and usages to look like one thing, but mean another or both and more at the same time… and not break the rules / ideas, of straightforward, plain and everyday wording.

            I don’t know if it’s the fact that word can mean many different things that bother many with this idea of the poem, or did it simply become ~too hard for some to think that hard.

            “It’s not a matter of trying, it’s a matter of “thinking”…people figured the first couple clues and unfortunately walked passed the treasure chest.”

          • Seeker: I predict you are going to be upset if/when the solution to Forrest’s poem is revealed. Despite your inclusive intentions toward translating/interpreting/decrypting Forrest’s poem, the solution could nevertheless end up being in a space that you actually discarded.

          • OK, Seeker now we are talking boy.
            We just need to quickly go over everything you have discarded over the past 4 years!

          • Lugnutz: I suppose I should be happy that you pay any mind to the missives I post here. My forte is pattern recognition and detecting anomalies — aberrations if you prefer. Forrest seems to like aberrations too, wouldn’t you say?

  12. I also started my hunt by defining all the words and determining the parts of speech of each word as used in the sentences. Very curious to see if your interpretation of each word and it’s use matches mine.

  13. I see the logic in the nine sentences is nine clues. However, the real question then is how many hints are in the poem?
    Such as – Just heavy loads and water high (2?), and
    The end is ever drawing nigh (4?), and
    But tarry scant with marvel gaze (4?).
    We should leave this for another discussion and not hijack this one. In fact maybe this winter Forrest can throw us a bone and give a number for the hints in the poem, such as 56. Wouldn’t that get people fired up and thinking! It would shorten the time till next hunting season.
    Just a thought.

  14. Just how much money did Forrest spend with legal counsel to devise his plan for WHAT IF’S?

    Legal advice is usually worth about what you pay for it.

    When he says those just look like words statement and I paraphrase but I guarantee each and every word was placed…….carefully.

    “Every word is placed in there strategically, and you can’t ignore any of the nouns in that poem.”


    • Gertrude Stein…”Poetry is doing nothing but using, losing, refusing and pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns.”
      With this in mind…where are Fenn’s nouns?

  15. Bowmarc,
    Whatever the importance of fenn saying the poem contains 9 clues most likely not be known until solved.
    9 sentence doesn’t seem to apply any more seeing we know the first “clue” is in stanza 2… But that doesn’t make stanza one as non-important to the solving / deciphering of the clues. Which bring me to [ if I read your thoughts correct ] That stanza one seem to be a intro / legal entry.
    Without knowing all your thoughts throughout the process of the entire poem, right now, I could argue that stanza 5 – 6 could cover that better [ those thoughts ]. So, for now, what I see when attempting to understand word usages, meanings etc…. you kinda eliminated the “WhatIF” factor that stanza one might possibly assisting a later clue… making stanza one more important than an intro, for example.

    In these thoughts of stanza one-[only], “As” seems to show how to get around another usage of as, by thinking this is stanza might be nothing more than an intro, or legal issues, line of thinking. The problem I see is not the thought itself, but the lack of possibilities that “AS” is meant in just this way almost force one to think of this stanza only this way. Also skipping around any reasoning for fenn you use “i’ve” later on in the poem vs. “I have” in stanza one [ do you have a possible reasoning or thought for this?]

    Obviously, My ‘right now thoughts’ can only be contribute to what you have told us to this point… maybe later explanations will help me understand, but for now… that’s basically what I’m seeing… stanza one is nothing more than an intro / legal setting of what is to come… which, is in my mind, treading on thin ice… reasons;
    The line in the book prior to the poem is the only place that mentions 9 clues, right? without that [type] of intro… would you ever consider 9 sentences vs. 9 lines vs. 9 words or 9 anything?
    I mean, the structure of the poem [ sentences, stanza, lines, words in any given line, 24 lines etc. ] doesn’t say we should need to think about “9”, nor does the the idea that only 9 lines hold all the ‘clues’ as any “factual count of clues” ~ W/O the prior line in the book. And intro with in the poem should also point that out, right?

    You have to admit one thing, fenn mentioning we need to decipher “9 clues” that will do the leading to the trove… is not in the poem itself. Other wise he could have stated, clues in the poem. Was the mentioning of “Containing” 9 clues important, or fenn just being a nice guy?

    Again, without more information of your thoughts with later sections of the poem, I’m as of now a hung jury.

    LOL Warning: Your in my wheel house of thoughts and process in regards to the Multiple Meanings and Usages of words in the poem. So at times you might see me as your worse enemy or your best friend. Don’t think of it that way… this could be a very interesting conversation if the emotions, egos, and the Badittude- ‘that’s the way I see only’ can be put aside.

    PS, Dal, Goofy… are posting limited space on a page such as this -??- compared to other topic pages that close for comments because of space and speed, just curious.

  16. All:

    The intent of my post or posts is always to encourage dialogue regarding the poem by presenting possibilities . All, some, or none of my post may help someone find Indulgence. All, some, or none of my post may be personally believed by me to be correct (solves are always evolving, mine included). I am just getting this stuff out of my noggin and out into this search we all are a part of. I like healthy debate and try to remain respectful in both posting and replying and appreciate the same in return.

    As my opening sentence for this now separate blog page indicated (BTW – a big thank you to Dal for moving it), I am not laying claim to looking at the poem as 9 sentences as a novel idea that originated with me, nor have I stated that the 9 sentences are the 9 clues (my whole dissection of the first sentence calls it an intro and labels it as a hint). Simply put, I am analyzing the poem as 9 sentences based upon the punctuation presented within the poem and said analysis includes defining words as parts of speech as listed in an English dictionary. I chose the 1828 version because as it precedes FF’s birth and he learned language from person’s whose vernacular, IMO, would more closely be reflected in said version as opposed to more modern dictionaries published after his birth. If there is another online version that falls between the 1828 version, and, say, a 1990 version of the dictionary which may or may not be laying next to Bowmarc’s copy of TTOTC which is resting on the corner of his desk, I’d be happy to hear about it. 🙂

    Here’s to continued healthy debate, and thanks for the encouragement to continue posting.

    • Until one actually does, I guess I’ll keep exhausting avenues to solve the poem sans a child and using accessible resources. 🙂

    • Again, I would like to ask, because I have looked, ask others who stock pile fenn’s quotes and have heard such comments from fenn about;
      ‘Kids have an advantage’ heard that in a video…
      A three year old girl would need some help to get to the chest… fenn’s comment correctly a searcher saying a kid could walk right up to the chest [ close enough for horseshoes ]…
      Show the poem to your kids…

      But the only time I read… a child could solve the poem… was from a searcher, passed on by a prior searcher and on and on. Does anyone have **that wording** in an actual / verifiable quote? That keeps popping up in “quote”

      • I’ve never seen a >child could solve the poemshow it to a kid [or your kids]a child could solve the poem< is probably, as you suggest, half-a-dozen calls down the line in a game of blog-telephone.


        • Sorry – that got mangled beyond recognition (probably ’cause I used arrowhead brackets for faux-quotes).

          Bottom line is I agree that *a child could solve the poem* is probably, as you suggest, half-a-dozen calls down the line in a game of blog-telephone.

          And as an aside, I recall *show it to your kids*, but don’t have an actual quote for that.


    • Didn’t Fenn say the opposite with the little Indy quote? although that quote was more about resources, so maybe a child could with the right resources, but one resource may be an adult…

      • The quote I like most is from Moby Dickens
        25:40 “Uh, yeah, I think kids may have an advantage. Don’t expect me to explain that, but sure. Their eyes are better, they’re more agile….”

        • Yep. And that was re the question about kids finding the treasure, not specifically solving the poem.


        • My eyes aren’t what they use to be when I was a kid, Ken… can you make the font larger? I’m getting to old to walk to the draw where I keep my magnifying glass, ya know!

          • only Fenn uses the larger font Seeker. HaHa.
            Yep Jake…very true, I still like that one because he says he won’t explain but continues to give a couple of teasers. That video is by far one of the best for a whole lot of reasons.

      • That is one thought, Count. Is the location of a search area within a area where restrictions of age needs to meet a requirement. Can a little girl or boy of 10 -13, lets say, enter by way of a gate entrance?

        This might help the Little girl from India scenario, that she/he “child” alone can not get closer to the clues… Which might, mean a child could solve the clues in the poem, because all the information to find the chest is in the poem.
        So if Little Indy can find the first two clues on the map, logically a “solve” is a completion of it ‘all’ – can a child [ like an adult ] “solve’ the poem” ?

        The wording for me is important to the possibilities… Such as; the difference between a “general solve” [ at home clues references, “In theory, but not in practice…” ] To a solve [ If you can’t walk to “your solve” in several hours, don’t go, line of thinking.

        Ya might say this is semantic in nature from one ATF to another… But, that is the point of attempt to use ATF comments as a helpful check and balance, from the only guy who knows what he is talking about. And has is pick of which question he want to answer / contribute to the readers.

        Becky’s Q&A is a perfect example of a non-answered question… but ‘deliberately posted’ as a non-answered question. Fenn didn’t need to answer the little Indy question or answer it the way he did… so if there is reasoning behind fenn’s comments [ all, or mostly all, that wrap around the chase ] I’d like to know if a quote is factual or not when said, “fenn said” If the information can be helpful.

        Sorry Bowmarc for this off topic post… then again, it might relate to how you see the poem, and your post.

  17. Wow,

    What can I say Bowmarc, I would like to know how long that took to write?

    Ronnie the Scot

    • Ronnie – I’d say several hours over the course of a few days, and that was after weeks of doing research on definitions.

      • Weeks? Rookie… LoL.
        Are you done with your next posting or still need to write it out..
        Just curious.

        • Seeker = Lol…have to do the research when my bosses aren’t looking so I have to spread it out over the course of a shift or two. Shhh…don’t let them know. 🙂

          I’d say I’m over 1/2 way done with the breakdown of the second sentence.

  18. Hi Bowmarc — while I think there is value in hashing out potential interpretations of the words in the poem through natural language translation, I think it would be a very bad idea to then attempt to solve Forrest’s clues based on the resulting translation. If any of the hints or outright clues in the poem are based on the poem’s specific structure (word choices, positioning), translating the poem will destroy those hints or clues. This could be the whole reason Forrest said not to mess with the poem: he didn’t just write it, he “constructed it.” So the architectural design could go beyond our various interpretations of what the words mean.

    • Good points Zap. Sometimes you have to see a thing through to say you’ve done it/got it all out of your system and I feel like this is one of those times for me. People learn and imagine differently and by me writing it down, sharing, and reading the ensuing critiques afterwards, it helps me to evolve my own thoughts and go off on another tangent I guess.

    • I applaud your post for the very conversations it instigates. I have a potentially explosive thread that I have pondered starting, but I worry that it would put all of us at a slight disadvantage relative to Forrest’s family and close friends. We’ll see what Dal thinks.

    • Brad – “While I (FF) affirm that I once departed into a place with limits in no one’s company but indeed with a prominent collection of items of value belonging to me, I myself am able to maintain private knowledge of a place known as such to me, while also (herein) being able to make slight mention of an abundance of valuable possessions that are lately made or ancient.” is how I translated the 1st sentence the 1st time, and did not change it too much in #2, but I fail to see where you are stating I changed “My secret where” to “it”.

      Perhaps you meant to ask “Why DIDN’T you replace…”???

      • Brad – upon further review I found where you meant in my original post. Just a subconscious error. Luckily I did not substitute “it” for “secret where” when defining words.

  19. Bowmarc,

    In the spirit of healthy debate….I guess I’m having trouble seeing how this approach helps in general terms, that is, breaking the poem down into individual words as you have done. I can see how this may satisfy an intellectual curiosity, but IMO doesn’t add much value to solving the poem.

    I think it can be argued that each individual word has no specific meaning all by itself. It is only by constructing a collection of words that we have meaning. Sure individual words can mean different things in different contexts but over analyzing the generic type of each word as it is used and as it exists in the dictionary doesn’t seem useful. In reality, couldn’t we all have come up with the ‘Translations’ that you provide without going through all the word gymnastics?

    Further, let’s remember that this is a poem… artistic collection of words that are not bound by the ‘normal’ standards of plain english usage. The author was at great liberty to use tenses, punctuation, and implied meanings that suit his purpose. He was wholly unbound from common norms and, indeed, he tells us that he doesn’t feel compelled to comply with common writing standards. Breaking the poem down like this risks straining out all the good juices that we are really looking for…IMO. Kind of like adding complexity and noise that really isn’t helpful.

    • ColoKid – Thank you for commenting. I think your sentiments in your last paragraph are exactly why I (we) need to break down each word so that I (we) can understand the possibilities (FF’s cleverness) involved when he constructed the poem. By examining the possible uses and meanings of each building block, I (we) may be able to reconstruct his poem in terminology that sparks the literal, imaginative, and poetic interpretive solve. FF has been attributed with saying, and I paraphrase here, not to discount any of the words in the poem. My post is intended to not discount any of the words in his poem.

    • Poetry interpretation is one of the most time consuming and difficult tasks in the literature world. Poetry interpretation 101 involves a multistep process that begins by a simple reading…followed by many successive readings. One key to analysis is to “restore” the poem by taking it apart and cleaning it up to be easier to read. Grammar and punctuation is important. This does not involve “reconstruction” or “remodel”, as these practices only suit the reader. Lot of gray areas there…

      • Ken—In this instance, I’m trying to bring the gray area into focus. Poetry, art, religion, life—all interpretive. 🙂

    • Colokid,
      Yep, we need other words to grasp an understanding…
      But, [I’ll use Bowmarc wording; “construction of the poem”] we might need to find the right material [ meaning{s}] to understand what the outcome will look like [Do I use a block vs. a brick idea,]
      So, by limiting or eliminating possible meanings or how a word is usable… doesn’t that restriction and automatically force other words meaning to be something they might not be?
      Far as a distance and not rightside or east, for example.
      If “warm” is only usable as a temperature, does that force “halt” to be a temperature blocker?
      But if warm can be seen as comfortable, can we see other ideas that pop… a color for example. However, we still need to attempt to envision the poem as what the design creates… so we need to continue this process as we look at other words, such as Brown. Brown being capitalize might give this word to be a noun… but why can’t it have more than one meaning or usages as well? Such as a title name [Prince, King etc] and a dual purpose; brown as a warm color indicator, and might relate to warm as the same… a color… in an attempt to interpret what “warm” waters halt refers to.

      Breaking down the words meaning and usages is nothing more than finding the material the writer desired for the project to work just like he hoped it would. Yep, many will jump to the first conclusions… that’s not straightforwards enough or it’s over complicated, and now, plain English to mean easy as well… when plain English means non-technical…

      Maybe the next question to ask fenn is the definition of “difficult” as he used it, but not impossible.

      I’m not a writer, nor a poetic, nor higher Skooled edumacated… But I hardly doubt it would take so much dedication and time [ we have been told fenn did ] to come up with a hard poem to have land features to be interpreted and not see or understand them when on site. Especially, now that we have been told, folks on site, not seeing those directions and clue references.

      So, imo, the point by point thought process doesn’t allow “warm” to be anything much more than the temperature of a body of water. Or Brown to only be usable as a name of a place.

      Difficult yes, but hardly impossible.
      This is why I try and use those many ATF comments as a check and balance, not clues, but food for thought.

      LOL.. To be honest, I personally might be shooting the “process” up with an injection of steroids. But the thought process makes the reader think.
      Or maybe I should spend more time researching a nuclear powered super duper deep ground penetrating gold buster metal detector… with a color monitor.

    • CK’s comment about FF was at liberty to do as he chose and FFs comments about his disregard for ‘standards’ is why I think the 9 sentences (by punctuation at least) are a red herring. I also prescribe to Lugs ballad interpretation, FF is a well read individual including poetry, while I don’t discount the intro/conclusion stanzas, I also don’t think they hold clues…hints maybe but, yeah. And no need to throw all the ATF comments out, those of course have merit on discounting what I just said. I choose to put more weight on the ‘simple’, ‘stay in the box’ comments. Also I have no confidence and am not going out looking anytime soon. IMO IMO IMO IMO

      Here is another thought (maybe better for a different post)…Fenn’s quote “What surprises me a little is that nobody to my uncertain knowledge has analyzed one important possibility related to the winning solve.” Looking at the poem map…related to the ‘edges’ (faded areas), what about the possibility that the location is indeed ‘on the map’ but not shown/or depicted. My argument here is that the places on any map exist whether they are on the map or not, so if the map just has white space, but indeed the border (of the map) still contains the places (but aren’t highlighted) do we exclude them? For more detail: is Denver ‘in’ the rocky mountains? I live here and not sure how I would answer that question…mostly my geography brain says NO, but then so many things named (in/around/near) ‘Rocky Mountain x’. Would be a fun trick on us (not dishonest because again, the places are still technically there, and ‘on’ the map, just not highlighted

      • Seeker,
        First off, I apologize if my responses seem tardy…everytime I post these days I find myself in moderation. Can’t get Goofy to respond. Oh, well…my thoughts aren’t that important.

        Seeker said, “So, by limiting or eliminating possible meanings or how a word is usable… doesn’t that restriction and automatically force other words meaning to be something they might not be?”

        Of course…you’re preaching to the choir here. The distinction is context and you don’t get context without ALL the other words. The thesaurus is a good thing. My point is that by singling out a solitary word we lose touch with what he’s trying to convey.

        Some good observations….I’m right there with you on your point about ‘what really does he mean by Rocky Mountains’. Every since he said that the Rio Grande wasn’t in the RM’s I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that his definition of mountains is more specific than the general population thinks. Reference: to Isaac Cole’s podcasts where Forrest talked about the Rio Grande not being in the Rocky Mountains. Maybe someone can cross-check me here but didn’t he also rule ‘the desert’? I think he really means mountain mountains. LOL

          • Just a quick comment about some of the stuff in this particular subsection of the post:

            1) WWWH – the warm waters (whatever you define warm as) and halt do not necessarily have to be polar opposites. Temperature warm waters don’t have to have the concept of halt meaning that the waters warmness is halted/stopped/altered—the waters flow may be halted by going over a ledge, for example, which may do little to halt the temperature (but, scientifically speaking, Bowmarc, by going over a ledge and falling through the air, the surface of the water is increased thereby increasing the likelihood that it interaction between the two causes an increased likelihood that heat transfer is increased, therefore halt can simultaneously be defined as changing the temperature AND the flow of the water.) In other words, I know there are counter arguments, i’m just pointing out that halt does not necessarily have to negate one’s definition of warm, it may just have to somehow affect the waters.

            2) As to context, I agree. My intent at trying to look at the poem as sentences, and then by the individual words within the sentences, is to ultimately culminate into the right combination of meaning that leads one to solving the poem. In other words, the poem is a lock and I (we) need to use the poem as the correctly shaped key to unlock same.

            As always, thanks to everyone for commenting.

          • Bowmarc ~ ‘Where = an adverb meaning at which place or places/whither (whither meaning absolutely/to what point or degree) NOTES: Being an adverb, it has to qualify something else, in this case the word “it” (or, IMO, quest).’

            Ok you have begin as a command, where for the it…etc. But I don’t see anything that could relate to “time” because that is also a possibility when we break down the words.

            Couple examples; Begin it once upon a time… once upon a while… so “It” could refer to a time journey, other than a physical journey, to reference wwwh.
            The differences on the emphasis of; “begin it” where warm waters halt, to mean a command for now.
            “Begin it where” warm waters halt, upon a given time.
            Just the use of the word “where” can change the entire interpretation of how the poem might be read correctly. [ breaking down a word ]
            In the latter example; the “it” has nothing to do with waters other than a ‘time’ indicator to “halt”. A geographical location, in time, that halt the waters or waters stop being, line of thinking.

            The above is an example of Colokid’s point. Without context, breaking words down doesn’t give a logical reasoning when combined with two or many words, and with that thought in mind… a conclusion seem to be usable only in the academic side of the words.

            Just a thought here… what I see missing is; the freedom of word choice that the avenue of a “poem” allows, and rules of literature / definitions / and usages, are bendable.

            Ok, back to reviewing your 2nd sentence…

          • I’ll add this as well…
            If the sentence began as; “begin it at” warm waters halt… then the command to begin the quest is “at” a place only, “where” opens the door… but might not be understood without more context of circumstance to form an interpretation.

            That is the premise of interpreting.. to explain something.

  20. This is really great. I haven’t had the chance to dig into it just yet, but at a glance (forgive me if I’ve missed info) I didn’t see any mention of the singular “question mark” and that sticky “semi-colon”.

    There are 8 periods and 1 question mark, correct? (I’m tired so don’t bite me if I’m wrong)…9 clues. That semi-colon seems important too.

    Has anyone done any research on the background of the punctuation marks?

    Also is there a page where you can just bring up random things you want to discuss or a “tarry scant” page or something? I’m terrible at finding things if they aren’t on the front of the blog 😛

    • Becky,
      Bowmarc if doing this sentence by sentence…
      We’ll have to wait for episode 3 or 4 to see if the semicolon lives or dies. {I know! a nail biter, right?} The real kicker is… we may have to wait for next season episodes to find out if the – ? mark – is a good guy or bad guy.
      Not sure if this show is a mystery / thriller or a cabin in the wood horror / drama yet… But I have it set on TiVo to record. I really don’t like sitting through annoying commercials.

  21. I personally, am intrigued by a comment attributed to FF, that many “people have been within 200 feet of the treasure”. That statement, like virtually everything else FF says, could be interpreted in a variety of ways.

  22. Nice post. Anyone but me think the nine letter word “treasures” is a clue that Indulgence is hidden in the the Treasures State, the “word that is key”?

  23. The Poem as 9 Sentences:

    Sentence #2

    “Begin it where warm waters halt, and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk.” = Clues, with FF definitively stating (during his 3/5/2013 radio interview) that the first clue is BIWWWH.


    BIWWWH is the first clue in this stanza (FF has stated as much and did not include any other words with this revelation so that is it, period). We searchers need to figure out WWWH and use that as our starting point in our quest for indulgence.

    Much debate has raged about the meanings of words in this line in particular. Here are my interpretations:

    Begin = Intransitive verb meaning to do the first act/to enter upon something new/to take the first step/to trace from anything. NOTES: since it is an intransitive verb, it does not attach to an object. Because of this, begin must be viewed as a command, which makes the sentence an imperative sentence which usually ends with a period or an exclamation point. For these reasons, begin means simply start/take the first step?

    It = a pronoun meaning a substitute in the neuter gender standing in for anything except males and females. NOTES: What does “it” refer to? I don’t have my copy of TTOTC in front of me, but from FF’s comments leading up to the poem, isn’t that enough of an indication that we need to go out and search for the treasure? For that reason, for me the best meaning of “it” is the quest we are about to start AKA the search for Indulgence.

    Where = an adverb meaning at which place or places/whither (whither meaning absolutely/to what point or degree) NOTES: Being an adverb, it has to qualify something else, in this case the word “it” (or, IMO, quest).

    Warm = an adjective that describes a noun in the sentence, in this case the word waters. Warm is defined as having heat to a moderate degree/it can also mean violent or furious/animated/vigorous/ardent/easily excited or provoked; a transitive verb meaning to communicate a moderate degree of heat to/to make engaged in earnest/to interest; intransitive verb meaning to become moderately heated/to become ardent or animated. NOTES: FF was asked what warm means to him and his reply was “It means being comfortable.” (Tarry Scant Website ID #2446); warm has also been referenced to coloration with red, orange, and yellow typically considered warm colors. We the searchers need to find what definition(s) of the word warm FF is referring to. Is he referencing more than one – for instance, temperate/comfortable water which is also warm in color? I am not sure that there are areas in any of the 4 search states where the water is definitely red/orange/yellow colored(?) so I am therefore not inclined to believe that coloration is FF’s intended definition (however, I concede that such coloration would make that particular WWWH solution pretty unique and cannot therefore discount this definition entirely but am not inclined to pursue such definition further until something sparks my interest in doing so). My inclination is more towards water that is animated/furious/vigorous or/and temperate. I have already commented that it would be much easier for a child to see a spot where such animated waters (such as rapids) halt than taking the temperature of said waters every so often to find where such temperature is comfortable or is otherwise halted/changed/shifted from warm to either end of the spectrum (ie towards colder at one end or hotter at the other). In slight defense of this position, if all we need are the poem, a good map, and GE as good references in solving the poem, can any of those 3 things show us water that is warm in temperature? What about water that is turbulent/animated/vigorous? I concede that the map can show us borders where warm fishing waters stop (another popular idea for the WWWH), and now that I think about it a little more, some maps may even give us temperatures for waterways which we can then use to determine what/where we think are likely spots for WWWH. Regardless, I’m still leaning towards the turbulent/animated ideology (for now). 🙂

    Waters = a noun. Typically defined as a fluid which is made up of hydrogen and oxygen in a 15/85 ratio (for you numbers solvers) and, more abstractly, includes its solid state of ice or snow (which is produced by the loss of heat by liquid water) and its gaseous state of steam (which is produced by the addition of heat to liquid water); the Ocean; abstractly = urine; the coloration or luster of a diamond or pearl; any of several fluids or humors in animal bodies; to be sound or tight (as in “to hold water” (obsolete)). NOTES: Despite FF being famously outdoorsy, I am not inclined to think he is using urine as his definition of waters, nor the animal humors. I am also willing to discount the diamond/pearl coloration definition as it does not seemingly mesh with the rest of the sentence and neither does the obsolete meaning (sound or tight). That leaves water, which most likely means some type of waterway, and ocean/lake, both of which are some type of definable area occupied by the substance water. Waters is the plural of water, so it could mean more than one instance of water—-however, I have heard what is defined a rapid also being termed as rapids despite being only a single occurrence of such on a waterway and FF himself has stated “I corrupt words a lot.” (Tarry Scant Website ID #9222) so I don’t think we can definitively say it is plural for this reason. Such usage of the plural where the singular is the correct method can be attributed to colloquial language (or just plain poor grammer) and not out of the realm of possibility. The most logical usage, IMO, is a waterway (including a body of water like a lake or the ocean) or waterways.

    Halt = intransitive verb meaning to stop in walking/to hold/to limp/to hesitate/to fail; transitive verb meaning to stop/to cause to cease in marching; adjective meaning lame (that is holding or stopping in walking); noun meaning a stopping. NOTES: Of the various parts of speech that “Halt” can be, its use in the poem, to me, is as a transitive verb (since halt does take on waters as the direct object of the action verb). As an aside, and if I may, it has been said somewhere that “Time marches on”, yet, to my uncertain knowledge, time has not yet been proven to be an actual physical thing so how can it march? My answer is that it is poetic, just like FF’s warm waters coming to some type of halt, another term typically associated walking/marching. Poetically, why can’t moving waters be described/thought of as walking/marching and therefore be subject to terms that apply to walking and/or marching?

    Ahem – and now, for emphasis, a poetic verse written by Bowmarc:

    “The red leaf, newly fallen from the tall oak, lazily drifted atop the babbling brook,

    Dizzy as the waters hugged every corner that it took,

    And merrily danced around the drowning stones without adhesion,

    Without a care, and barely aware, of the changing of the season.”

    © This currently untitled stanza is the intellectual property of this user. 🙂

    Here I have poetically affixed a few words to things which they might not normally be associated with, just like FF halting warm waters in some fashion. Waters hugging something? But Bowmarc, water doesn’t have arms! (But can you see the water making twists and turns, or racing along and making a curve like a NASCAR driver?) Drowning stones?!? But Bowmarc, stones aren’t alive! (But hopefully I sure did plant an image of some rocks that are partially submerged (drowning but not drowned) in the water into your mind’s eye?)) And what is with the adhesion—I don’t see anything stuck together with glue?!?! (But can you see the leaf still floating on the water, not stuck to the rocks? Or did I mean that the water is still flowing around the rocks without being fully inhibited?) But Bowmarc, which is barely aware, the water or the leaf? I have to know!!! And by the way, the water is not alive and can’t be aware of anything, and the leaf, being red, and your reference to the changing of the season, means that it, too, is dead or dying because it fell from the tall oak, so that must mean that the leaf is barely aware because it is dying, right?!?!?!? Maybe it’s barely aware because it is dizzy and thus confused???? (Can you see the water not being aware of the single leaf floating on its surface? Can you imagine that despite the changing of the season, it is not yet cold enough for the water to freeze and thus be affected by the changing of the season, or that the brook is in a place that has a change of season but not necessarily a cold enough winter to keep said brook from flowing?).

    Back to task and thanks for enduring my poetic exercise.

    Thus far, and heavily dependent upon ones assumed definition of the two words preceding halt in the sentence (warm and waters), a searcher could be looking for any combination of the following:

    1 = a spot on a waterway where temperature warm waters become either colder or hotter

    2 = a spot where 2 or more waterways combine where temperature warm waters mix and become either colder or hotter

    3 = a spot on a waterway where fast moving water becomes calmer

    4 = a spot where fast moving waterways combine and the water becomes calmer

    5 = I think you, the reader, can see the pattern by now and can figure out the rest of the possible combinations

    HOWEVER, to further confound the meaning and usage of halt, you must decide if the water is being stopped from being warm (in whatever manner you decide warm is being defined as), or if the warm waters are halting something else, and this distinction causes a whole other set of possibilities to emerge. I concede that this is a variable that I don’t have an answer to at this time, other than to pose the question: What are the warm waters halting?

    ADDITIONALLY, how are the warm waters halting? Are they going over the edge of a waterfall, and therefore stop moving horizontally and start moving vertically? Is the water freezing, and therefore stops being a liquid and becomes a solid? Is the water evaporating or otherwise being transformed to steam, therefore stops being liquid water and becomes gaseous water? Is one warm waterway merging into another that is cooler (or even hotter) and it’s temperature stops being warm and becomes much cooler (or much hotter)?

    After all of that, my inclination is to view warm as being violent or furious/animated/vigorous so my WWWH is going to be someplace where such waters stop and will then further be refined by examining my breakdown of clue #2 below (Hint: My clue #2 is ATIITCD).

    And = conjunction meaning further.

    Take = transitive verb meaning to have recourse to; intransitive verb meaning to move or direct the course.

    It = a pronoun meaning a substitute in the neuter gender standing in for anything except males and females. NOTES: What does “it” refer to? What thing or clause? For me it is still the quest/hike*****

    In = preposition meaning surrounded by limits.

    The = adjective used before a noun which are specific or understood OR limit their signification to a specific thing. NOTES:

    Canyon = NOTES: the 1828 online dictionary did not have a definition for canyon so I used a modern dictionary to define it as well as the thesaurus feature to find related words, then tried searching for those synonyms in the 1828 version. Canyon (found via an online dictionary) = noun meaning deep valley with steep sides, often with a stream flowing through it. 1828 Synonyms are: Gorge = noun meaning throat/that which is swallowed/architecturally refers to features of a column/in fortification refers to the entrance to a platform; verb meaning to swallow, especially with greediness or with large mouthfuls or quantities; intransitive verb meaning to feed. Gully = noun meaning a channel or hollow worn in the earth by a current of water; verb meaning to wear a hollow channel in the earth; intransitive verb meaning to run with noise. Ravine = noun meaning a long, deep hollow worn by a stream or torrent of water—hence any long deep hollow or pass through mountains, etc. NOTES: I am not sure how this word can be looked at as anything other than some type of geographic feature that looks like a valley—especially with FF wanting us to get up and out into nature. A slight argument can be made that you are taking whatever it is into the throat of something, perhaps, but in this sense I still think it would be in the sense that you are moving into the entrance of a geographical place including a valley/gully/gorge? Also, according to the varied definitions, said valley-like feature may or may not have a waterway running through it—-I concede that this point conflicts with the information we already have been given that specifically mentions waters (WWWH), but maybe this is part of the reason that searchers have been within 200 feet, but by picking that canyon with water as opposed to one that definitions tell us are also viable, those searchers took the wrong route? Another thought about this line of thinking that just occurred to me is that FF has made the 200 feet comment, and that searchers have correctly identified the first two clues, but has he ever mentioned the two of these comments together or how they mesh? In other words, was the searcher 200 feet from the chest when he was at clue #1 or clue #2?

    Down = noun meaning fine, soft feather of fowl/the pubescence of plants/an elevation of sand thrown up by the sea/a large, open plain, primarily on elevated land; preposition meaning along a decent/from a higher to a lower place/towards the mouth of a river, or toward the place where water is discharged into the ocean or a lake; interjection meaning a command or warning to duck or take cover. NOTES: I also recently read that down can reference downland/downs, making canyon down defined as the downlands of said canyon as the place we are taking it into (My apologies for not being able to cite the person who posted such here on this site) where the downlands are the hills that surround another geographic feature which, in this instance, would be the canyon. This variation is plausible and would mean that one is to go into the downlands which precede the canyon and not down into the canyon (hence, some searchers are said to have been within 200 feet of Indulgence but went past clues 3-9 because they did go down into the canyon rather than into the canyon down which seem to be 2 different directions?). Similarly, if down is referencing the pubescence of plants which may abound (because of the nearby warm waters?) and one still went down into the canyon rather than into the canyon’s young/seasonal/annual vegetation, they have again gone the wrong direction and missed clues 3-9? Do I have to comment any further on an enormous pile of feathers somewhere near a canyon? My inclination is that down means something is moving into a canyon, probably along a descent. I say something because we do not have an exact description of the “it” which comes after “take” earlier in the sentence. It could mean what it is that the warm waters have halted and is then taking such along a descent into a canyon, or “it” can mean our quest (my preferred definition of the first “It” in this sentence) which we are commanded via the interjective definition to continue into a canyon OR into the downlands of said canyon OR into the young vegetation of said canyon. Lots of variables here which will need to be thought out, just not all by me here (sorry). Canyon down could also mean the large open plain variation.

    , (Comma) = punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, denotes a slight break between different parts of a sentence, or separates items in a list. Used properly, commas make the meaning of a sentence clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.

    Not = adverb that expresses negation, denial, or refusal

    Far = adjective meaning distant, in any direction/separated by a wide space from the place where one is, or from any given place remote/figuratively, remote from purpose or contrary to design or wishes/alienated; adverb meaning to a great extent or distance of space/figuratively, distant in time from any point/remotely/in great proportion.

    , (Comma) = punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, denotes a slight break between different parts of a sentence, or separates items in a list. Used properly, commas make the meaning of a sentence clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.

    But = conjunction noting in addition to supply what is wanting to elucidate or modify the sense of the preceding part of a sentence/typically defined as meaning except, besides, or unless.

    Too = adverb meaning over/more than enough/noting excess; likewise/also/in addition. NOTES: the dictionary articulates that too too repeated denotes excess emphatically.

    Far = adjective meaning distant, in any direction/separated by a wide space from the place where one is, or from any given place remote/figuratively, remote from purpose or contrary to design or wishes/alienated; adverb meaning to a great extent or distance of space/figuratively, distant in time from any point/remotely/in great proportion.

    To = NOTES: the 1828 has not less than 28 uses for this word and I am not inclined to list them all at this time (sorry) and perhaps that is because I can’t decide which of the 28 accurately defines its use in the poem nor am I sure if it is a preposition or an adverb. It seemingly attaches to the next word (walk), which is ok if walk is used as an adverb or intransitive verb, but not as walk would be defined as a noun. It is probably as simple as the #22 definition which states “precedes the radical verb after an adjective, noting the object”.

    Walk = intransitive verb meaning to move slowly on the feet/to go or move on the feet for exercise or amusement/to range/to move off; transitive verb to pass through or upon/to cause to step slowly; noun meaning the act of moving on the feet/way/road/range/place of wandering/an avenue set with trees. NOTES: I mentioned hike earlier in this post, and set it off with 5 asterisks, and here is the reason why: what if TFTW simply means we are not walking, but instead hiking? I have looked up what each is perceived to be, with walking generally associated with exercise/amusement which occurs in manmade areas (like a street, around the block, etc.) and hiking being a more robust “one foot in front of the other” over a changing natural setting. Additionally, walking usually involves sneakers, and hiking usually some type of boot. I go back to the statement about some people being within 200 feet of Indulgence and going right on by the rest of the clues—is that because we failed to recognize that FF was telling us to get ready for a hike rather than we need to jump in our car now and drive a distance that we think is too far to walk and follow the rest of our clues from that now remote spot? More random thoughts = what if I were to pack a floatation device and then use that to float down the assumed waterway to traverse the distance defined as TFTW? Sure, it would be a one way trip by floatation device, but at least I have now made my return walk something not quite as bad as TFTW, and one that deflates is easily concealable (assuming FF was worried or otherwise would be bothered about someone seeing him carrying a floatation device already full of air).

    . (Period) = punctuation mark indicating a full stop/expresses the finality of what is being said (written).

    TRANSLATION: At this point, too numerous to list, but I’m leaning towards something along the lines of “Take the first step of your quest whither animated water stops somehow and descend into a valley up to a distance considered farther than a walk OR as/by some other means not considered a walk.”

    Here’s to more healthy debate…


    • PS…I inadvertently added a comma after halt when I listed the 2nd sentence at the beginning of this post. Sorry about that.

    • Bowmarc-~ “I am not sure that there are areas in any of the 4 search states where the water is definitely red/orange/yellow colored(?)”

      Really? As you said ~ “Warm = an adjective that describes a noun in the sentence, in this case the word waters.” followed by “Waters = a noun”
      A noun; [ one usage ] from…’a noun can name not only a physical thing, but also an abstract thing such as a state…’
      Would a river not fall into the same?

      I following your train of thought, don’t get me wrong… but it seems…[at this point, only because we just hit the second sentences and not sure what else you have thought about to pull this all together]… I starting to agree with some points/concerns Colokid brought up.

      If these comments of mine are too premature, because of lack of fully having your full thoughts… let me know. I’m not being judgemental… I’m looking at this has I have with my thoughts on the same manner/method to the words in the poem, leading to sentences in the poem etc.

      • Seeker – I think you misinterpreted my comment. I do not know of a red colored river, or an orange colored river, or a yellow covered river in any of the 4 states ie the water is actually red, orange, or yellow in color, hence warm. I am certainly open to information pertaining to a river that is hued any of those colors within the 4 state search area, or information about any rivers that are abstractly referenced as such. My research has not yet yielded any such information but that is because I haven’t put the effort into such endeavors. I am not against a river being the definition of waters.

        • Ah! ok…
          But I can give example [ not in those states off hand ] of actual colors – The Nile river does turn red. Yosemite’s waterfall turns to a gold color.
          Is there a phenomenon in one of the four states this happen? lets say once a year or ever 5 years, or only at a certain time and/or day of any give year that almost no one knows about? Possibly, a naturally well hidden area… Something that would nail down the first clue,[ not known to searcher on site, if not known by the poem prior suggesting such ] line of thinking, or paddle creek or heavy loads and/or water high…

          As far as “waters” being defined as ‘the river’s waters’ I can show you many encyclopedias that mention just that. Or the L&C, Cook-Folsom-Peterson, and others documents as examples, as well.

          My point is, I caution exact definitions of word usages in any one era or area. fenn kinda warned us [TTOTC] “Others [words in a dictionary] that are, I bend a little”
          Or fenn talking about the poem directly, ” I looked up words and definitions of words and changed them, went back and rebooted”
          Noticed looked up words “and” definitions of words?

          While many searchers from the start of the challenge investigated the idea of words usages in the poem… was the book and that comment “subtle hints”?
          Well, the book anyways… the audio interview pretty much confirms the book, in my mind [imm]

          “…it [the poem] turned out exactly like I wanted.”

          • Seeker – I agree, one may have to not only look up the definitions of the words in the poem, but also the definitions of the words used to define each of the poems words, etc. Then their is word origins, roots, etc., but at this point in my research I am not yet ready to delve into such as I stated in my original post. Similarly I have made clear my reason(s) for dictionary usage. I take note of your word(s) of caution, and you already mentioned something to the effect of “I’m in your wheel-house now” so I (we all) have come to expect dialogue from you so no need to reiterate or apologize (contrary to anyone’s posting on this thread that began with me, it is a living thing beyond my desire to control or contain so feel free to comment).

            If Indulgence is found in my lifetime, I can’t wait to see the proper mix of Fenn-ese, colloquialism, pun, etc. etc. etc. finally revealed.

        • Guys… check out the Animas River. The EPA fiasco was well after Fenn hid the treasure…but who’s to say that is the only time that has occurred. Orange color.
          Also, many areas throughout the Rockies are prone to flash flooding. Knowing that…it would not be a stretch to have similar occurrences elsewhere. Rivers taking on an abnormal hue. With this said…and recognized…I do not believe “warm” refers to a “color”.
          Thanks for your efforts Bowmarc…and sorry for speaking of the ; before you got there.

          • Ken (All) – No need to apologize—we are all here to share information so feel free to comment on whatever wherever. Thanks for the information regarding river coloration. Like you, perhaps, the use of color to define warm is low on my hierarchy of definitions/solves, especially when such is a rare or fleeting occurrence (kind of makes it hard for a searcher who would have to be at the right spot at the right time at the right time of the year, etc.). Similarly, the same may hold true to temperature definitions of warm.
            Pardon my aside, but a thought just occurred to me regarding WWWH and I want to share it before I lose it….what if WWWH, when used as a phrase I keep hearing so much about, is simply a shoreline? Comfortable/calm/temperate liquid H2O stops at a shore, and then a searcher moves along said shoreline in whatever direction their definition of the next phrase tells them to, then we put into said waterway (to safely cross to the other side because when we began our quest we had only one viable option where we could safely/legally park our car) where we think our HOB is. I’m probably just rambling, Ken (all), so disregard. 🙂

  24. Bowmarc,
    LOL.. I read the first few sections, and then had to jump back to the {period thought} BIWWWH. Why are you dismissing the fact that there is an “and” involved a ‘full’ sentence with no comma or any punctuation for separation? [ if that is explained later, I apologize ] If not explained… imo, could change one thought to forcing another… a full clue of 1 out of 9… fenn did say “9” no matter how we dissect lines or sentences etc.

    Ok, I’ll read the rest before any more comments… I just saw that “and” could get passed it.

      • Seeker – my use of the word period inside the braces is simply meant to say that when FF told us what the first clue of his poem was during the radio interview mentioned, he said that BIWWWH is the first clue and did not add any other words from the poem to that statement, therefore, IMO, BIWWWH stands alone as the first clue.

        • I get it Bowmarc. But he was also asked about home of brown… answering [paraphrasing] if we knew that we’d go right to the chest.
          Is that with the “below” factor or the “from there” factor? I mean, there is a period at the end of that line to suggest ‘below’ to be the other factor involved, right?

          But an “and” for a joining, possibility indicates ‘take it in the canyon down’ is more than just a second clue movement, line of thinking… IF ‘take it in’ can be usable as example, *the view was spectacular I had to stop and take it in…* [ to observe ] leaving the comma at the end of that line in that sentence as a break to imply, not far, is where below hoB is, but too far to walk. from where you stopped at wwwh to “take it in” [A double entendre usage of halt and take it in, or multiple means and usages.]

          Which might imply don’t go in the canyon down, this view point is where you observe hoB, line of thinking.. which doesn’t actually say hoB is “in” the canyon perse. It could be right across the canyon just a couple hundred feet away.

          I like what you’re doing so far… I’m just trying not to get target fixated.

          • Seeker – I get what you are saying, and the idea of word phrases being examined is the next step up from words being examined singularly (bricks into walls into rooms into buildings into …….). Phrases creep into my post now and again, as do random thoughts, but if I commented on every layer and every thought, I’d never post anything as I’d always be writing. I think I am going to continue to post along the same lines as I have been, and if phrases creep into my process, they do. and if they don’t, we all can discuss them ATF.

          • I get it, Bowmarc.
            It hard to give constructive critiquing when we only have some of your thoughts… and not sure where it all ends up. Trust me when I say, I get it… it’s difficult to get ‘all’ the thought process in writing [ on your end ] and difficult for us to see the whole journey [ on our end ] as it comes out piece by piece.

            Don’t let my comments discourage… I’m attempting to follow while contributing.

  25. Your mention of the word “begin” brought this memory to mind:

    “One cannot know the joy of seeing one’s name immortalized in so many places in the United States. During my visit there, in many cities, more than once, I saw the words ‘Begin Freeway’. I had not realized that I was that popular to the Americans. What a great people”.

    –Menachem Begin, Israeli prime Minister (1977-1983)

  26. I didn’t see a page that fit this so forgive me if there is and I missed it.

    From there it’s no place for the meek,
    The end is ever drawing nigh;

    -(When a semicolon marks the left boundary of a constituent (e.g. the beginning of a clause or a phrase), the right boundary is marked by punctuation of equal or greater strength.

    -A semicolon can be used between two closely related independent clauses, provided they are not already joined by a coordinating conjunction*.

    There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
    Just heavy loads and water high.

    *Side Note for future reference::
    Examples of coordinating conjuctions:
    For – presents rationale (“They do not gamble or smoke, for they are ascetics.”)
    And – presents non-contrasting item(s) or idea(s) (“They gamble, and they smoke.”)
    Nor – presents a non-contrasting negative idea (“They do not gamble, nor do they smoke.”)
    But – presents a contrast or exception (“They gamble, but they don’t smoke.”)
    Or – presents an alternative item or idea (“Every day they gamble, or they smoke.”)
    Yet – presents a contrast or exception (“They gamble, yet they don’t smoke.”)
    So – presents a consequence (“He gambled well last night, so he smoked a cigar to celebrate.”)

    • Becky – I am commenting on each of the 9 sentences in order. So far I have completed and posted sentences 1 & 2 so you have not missed anything. I will take your post into consideration when I get to sentence #4. 🙂

      • I apologize if I’m being obnoxious or anything. I normally would put these little notes on a notepad in my tablet but it seems more productive to note things on the blog since Dal has sorted the subjects so nicely and then if what I have to say is useful it’s good for everyone and I may get some helpful feedback in return.

        I didn’t mean to seem like I was being pushy. On the contrary, your post is very important and I appreciate it. 😀 Thank you for replying.

    • Becky,
      All good… but do we stop at the rules and regulation of punctuation, or can the semicolon be a clue or hint itself.
      Example of the use is, used between two closely related independent clauses’ ~ plain English lingo ~ “joining” right?

      However in thought as a clue, hint, or information… the joining is of two parts, not unlike a semi-tractor trailer, for example… meaning midway point?

      Could use of a semi-colon be telling us, this might have to do with a distance of sorts. 1/2 the distance from… no place for the meek and water high.. or.. heavy loads and water high.. or.. even heavy loads is the 1/2 distance mark between meek and water high?

      Too much academic rules and regulations could take away a poem’s intent… thinking along the lines that this is a challenge to decipher clue references.

      I could go as far as to say, joining to mean, coupled or married.
      Does this give a thought that [on a map] these features, location or whatever they refer to, or reference as, are coupled, joined, married as one.
      …no place for the meek is actually heavy loads AND/joined water high? In theory.

      LOL over thinking or analyzing…?

      • Like Becky said the is marking a boundary and it separates major sentence elements. The stanza is one sentence with the semi colon separating the major elements. IMO it is only the midway point of the stanza not a halfway distance. In a solve I am working on it separates one location and instructions from another location and instructions.

        • I don’t want to get too far ahead on Bowmarc’s sentences outline with the semicolon… but I do have some thoughts on your comment, Aaron. I’ll hold off until we get to that point.

      • My current opinion, as my solve stands, is that the semicolon indicates information from one location is to be carried over to another location and used in combination. That’s not to say I’m correct but it works for my spot.

        Ever seen the semicolon movement?

        It’s basically saying “This is not the end”. That inspired my delving into the semicolon idea 🙂

      • I don’t want change or influence Bowmarc’s future writing…but…
        The earliest usage of the ; was to separate words of opposing meaning…while also allowing a quick change in direction in the process of connecting interdependent statements.

  27. I really appreciate the posts dealing with the semicolon. I recently went in for a medical test, but they only got part of it done. I got a bill for a “semicolonoscopy”. It was quite a bit of money for an incomplete test. I was just wondering if anyone else had gotten billed for something like that before? thanks.

  28. Hello all. Here is my breakdown of Sentence #3. To date, and despite it being the shortest sentence, I admit this has been the hardest to write about, and I am not sure that my ramblings are very helpful. Only comments, or lack thereof, will tell, I guess.

    Sentence #3 = Put in below the home of Brown.

    Put = transitive verb meaning to set, lay, or place/to cause/to insert/to push from land/to protrude/to offer/to advance/to extend/to shoot out/to conduct into a harbor/to vend; intransitive verb meaning to steer/to shoot/to germinate/to leave port or haven/to offer a claim; a noun meaning an action of distress/a game at cards/a rustic/a clown/a strumpet/a prostitute. NOTES: Given that FF has made this search a family affair, I do not think that this whole sentence is pertaining to a strumpet and a house of ill repute, though I am sure that some clever people can certainly rework the definitions/phrasing into just such a meaning without too much trouble.

    In = preposition meaning surrounded by limits.

    Put In = phrase with several meanings, including: (transitively) to spend a particular amount of time doing something or to make a particular amount of effort in order to do something; (transitively) to fix something such as equipment in the place where it will be used and make it ready to use; (transitively) to make an official request, claim, offer, etc.; (transitively) to invest money in a business or in an account; (transitively) to elect a politician to a legislature or political party to govern a country or to choose someone for a job or position, especially an important one; (transitively) to give something such as your trust or responsibility for your safety to something or someone; (intransitively) if a ship puts in, it stops at a port; (transitively) to say something that interrupts someone who is speaking. NOTES: As FF is trying to lead us to his secret place and his treasure, the command usages of this phrase are the most logical. BEST GUESS: Some type of physical advancement or insertion into someplace.

    Below = preposition meaning inferior in rank, excellence, or dignity/unworthy of/unfitting; adverb meaning in a lower place with respect to any object/on the earth as opposed to the heavens/in hell or the region of the undead/in a court of inferior jurisdiction. NOTES: can mean underneath, down, South or Southerly, under the surface of the water, below zero; in formal writing, it refers to something that the author will mention or show later; Below the Belt is an idiom for below. BEST GUESS is meaning a lower place OR south/southerly in direction.

    The = an adjective or definitive adjective, that is “the” is used before nouns which are specific or understood; is used to limit their signification to a specific thing or things, or to describe them; can also be used rhetorically before a noun in the singular number, to denote a species by way of distinction; a single thing representing the whole; is used before adjectives in the comparative and superlative degree (the longer / the more). The = an article that goes before a noun; DETERMINER/PARTICULAR and is used: before nouns to refer to particular things or people that have already been talked about or are already known or that are in a situation where it is clear what is happening; used before some nouns that refer to a place when you want to mention that type of place, without showing exactly which example of the place you mean; used before noun phrases in which the range of meaning of the noun is limited in some way; used to refer to things or people when only one exists at any one time; used before a noun to represent the activity connected with the noun (going under the knife/at the wheel); enough(of) {I’d like the go out tonight, but I don’t think I have the energy}; each/every {It gets 30 miles to the gallon}. NOTES: if this is used as a DETERMINER/PARTICULAR in the first defined sense, has the HOB already been talked about or known to us (since “the” would come before the nouns home and Brown)?

    Home = noun meaning a dwelling house/the house or place in which one resides/one’s own country/the place of constant residence/the grave/death/a future state/the present state of existence; an adjective meaning close/severe/poignant; an adverb meaning to one’s own habitation/to one’s own country/close/closely/to the point. NOTES: can also mean the type of family you come from (a happy home as opposed to a broken home) / a place where people or animals are cared for by people who are not their relations or owners / someone’s place of origin or place where a person feels they belong. Is there a home for abandoned critters associated with Brown that FF is fond of? What if home of Brown is loosely translated as the countryside of something or someone associated with Brown?

    Of = a preposition meaning proceeding from (proceeding = participle present tense meaning moving forward/passing on/issuing/transacting/carrying on)/preposition used to show possession, belonging, or origin/ preposition meaning containing or consisting of/used after words or phrases expressing amount, number, or a particular unit/resulting from or having to do with; preposition showing any of the following: possession, containing, amount, position, result, relating to, caused by, that is/are, comparing, done to, distance from, time, days. NOTES: joins the words home and Brown so the “possession” meaning seems to be the best fit.

    Brown = adjective meaning dusky/of a dark or dusky color inclining towards redness; a noun meaning a dark tertiary color with a yellowish or reddish hue; transitive verb meaning to make dusky; verb meaning to make food brown by cooking it. NOTES: Why is the “b” in Brown capitalized? Normally such would mean a proper noun (and adjectives derived from same), but can also mean: emphasis, man-made structures, man-made territories, man-made/natural landmarks, races, streets/roads, nick-names, and specific geographic regions—there are other rules as well, like brand names, companies, etc. but I have made a short list of meanings that seem relevant to TTOTC. With that being said, one could further refine my shortlist by eliminating the man-made structure meanings since FF is quoted as saying that Indulgence is not under a man-made structure (Tarry Scant Website ID #6331)—however, you may not want to eliminate HOB as being a man-made structure because his quote is specific to Indulgence not being under a man-made structure so HOB can still be a man-made structure as long as Indulgence isn’t underneath it or, for that matter, Indulgence can be on top of HOB, etc. and his quote would still be true. IMPORTANT QUOTE = (Tarry Scant website ID #9138 / Key phrase “If I told you”) FF answers the host London’s question of “But you didn’t answer my question, who is Brown?” by saying “Well, that’s for you to find out. If I told you that, you’d go right to the chest.” Does this seem to indicate the chest is very close to the HOB, or that the rest of the clues from the where of HOB are so easily discerned, or both? Does that mean Brown is definitely a nod to someone with the name Brown since London’s question was who, not what, is Brown? If FF, who likes to bend the rules, uses the capital B for emphasis, would that make brown the word that is key? ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON HOB: The internet and blogs are full of possible solves for HOB so I won’t rehash them all here and admit that I do not have one in particular that is my favorite (although I did write about the Ptarmigan Tunnel in my one and only solve to date).

    . (Period) = punctuation mark indicating a full stop/expresses the finality of what is being said (written).

    TRANSLATION(S) = Several works in progress.


    I can see “put” as possibly being a geographic protrusion of some sort which would make the whole sentence simply mean “Protrusion below the home of Brown”—in other words, a statement that there is a protrusion of some sort somehow below what FF is calling the HOB rather than a seeming command to do some type of action below HOB like shove off into water or cut a swath through the woods.

    I can see “Put in” as a phrase with the command to enter somewhere, with water (to push from land/to leave port or haven/to conduct into a harbor) and land (to advance/to insert/to leave haven) both likely candidates.

    For you double omega thinkers, it could be both stating there is a protrusion by HOB and that we need to embark down into that area.

    SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING THIS STANZA = During the same radio interview previously noted, the host reads stanza #2 and comments “…seems like a couple of clues to me.” FF responds with “That sounds like three or four to me.” As described below, 3 clues are identified which satisfies FF’s “3”. If you take NFBTFTW as a clue and not a hint, then you arrive at FF’s “4”.

    BIWWWH = Is clue #1 and seems to give us a command (begin it) and a place/thing (WWWH).

    ATIITCD is clue #2 and gives us a command (take it in), a place/thing (the canyon), and a direction (down/southerly) OR thing/place (down meaning downlands, for example). May also combine with BIWWWH (because of the conjunction AND) so would then be a continuation of the 1st clue in the stanza and gives us a command (take it in), a place/thing (the canyon), and a direction (down meaning south/southerly for example) OR thing/place (down meaning downlands, for example).

    NFBTFTW is a hint or additional information related to what I have identified as clue #2 – when we take it in the canyon down we will be traveling a distance which is “not far” but “too far to walk”—I’m not terming NFBTFTW as a clue because it lacks definitive information (no warm water, no canyon, etc.). NOTES: What if NFBTFTW simply tells us we are not going a long distance, but it won’t be a walk in the park either, but more of a hike than walk? Is “TFTW” poetic license to say hike? In an outdoorsy setting, taking a hike fits better with the terrain FF is describing in his poem? Hiking is done more in natural settings like forests/hills/mountains and walking more in a cultivated setting. Is it a hint describing the length of the journey ahead, or that a different mode of transport will be required (wading instead of walking, floating down a river, riding a bike and tossing it in WH when you’re done, etc.)?

    PIBTHOB is clue #3. It gives us a command (put in), a direction (below, perhaps meaning south/southerly), and specific thing/place (home of Brown). What if HOB is poetic for a prairie/field/meadow where Bison roam (Bison or American Buffalo is the heaviest mammal in North America)?

    Here’s to continued healthy debate…


  29. I recently watched “Dead Poet’s Society” with my daughter (well, for me it was a re-watch, but for her it was her first viewing of same). One scene in particular stood out to me and I thought I’d pass it along as kind of a mind exercise (or mind clearing exercise) for generating ideas regarding the poem. In the scene, RW makes a student stand with his eyes closed in front of the class and keeps pushing him to create a poem off the top of his head without pause to consider his words before uttering them in front of the class. As an exercise of your own, take a word, or phrase, or sentence from the poem and with your eyes closed (if you can remember the wording of what you chose) say it out loud a few times, maybe even with differing inflections and/or accents, then begin writing down anything that word or phrase or sentence brought to mind. You may be pleasantly surprised at how the words and your imagination mix to give you quite a list of new possibilities to research.

    For those still patiently waiting, I am up to the word “up” in sentence #4 and hope to publish same in the next couple of days.

  30. I’m beginning to think that the level of detail/tangent that I put into these writings is directly proportional to the amount of coffee I consume…

    With that being said, I give you all SENTENCE #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.

    (NOTE: Grammar checker doesn’t seem to like “There’ll” and wants to change it to “They’ll”—perhaps the computer is on to something there—JARVIS, analyze!!! Never mind, I forgot FF wrote this thing and I don’t want you to fry your circuits…)

    From = the sense of from may be defined by the noun distance, or by the adjective distant, or the participles departing/removing to a distance; as a preposition, it can mean place, time, distance, origin, material, range, cause, consider, reduce, difference, protection, or prevention. NOTES: Combines with the next word in the sentence (there) to make the phrase “From there” and would seemingly indicate that wherever we as the searcher are at currently, our position (in space, time, mentality, numerically, astrologically?) is going to change in some manner (by locomotion/ambulation, philosophically, etc.) including our view?

    There = an adverb meaning in that place/as opposed to here, it denotes the place most distant/sometimes used to call attention to something distant by exclamation/in, at, or to that place; as a pronoun it is used to start a sentence before certain verbs, in particular be, seem, and appear.

    It’s = a contraction of the words it and is; It = a pronoun meaning a substitute in the neuter gender standing in for anything except males and females. Is = an intransitive verb as the third person singular of the substantive verb be. NOTES: It’s can also represent the contraction of the words it and has, like in the sentence “It’s been a while since I last saw you.” Has = no definition in the 1828 version / is a verb and a form of the word have and is used with he, she, and it. If we are to use it’s as the contraction of “it has”, does that change our view of the area being described (it has no place for the meek as opposed to it is no place for the meek)? The “it has” terminology would seem to exclude the Joseph Meek references to this part of the poem?

    No = an adverb meaning denial or refusal of/expressing a negative/equivalent to nay and not/not in any degree; an adjective meaning not any/none/not one/when preceding the word where, becomes adverbial; if no is on a sign or official notice, it means not allowed. NOTES: At this time, “No”ne. 🙂

    Place = noun meaning a particular portion of space of indefinite extent/any portion of space as distinct from a general place/local existence/separate room or apartment/seat, residence, or mansion/a portion or passage of writing or of a book/point or degree of order/rank or order of priority/office or employment/ground or room/station in life/in military affairs it is a fortified post or town or fortress/a country or kingdom/stead/orbit of the moon/to take the precedence or priority; as a transitive verb it means to appoint, set, or induct into office or particular rank/to set/to fix/to invest. NOTES: As a noun it means one of several concepts, those being area, position, rank, job, and duty. As a verb it can mean recognize, put, invest, and give.

    For = a preposition with numerous meanings, including: to be given/purpose/because of/instead of/time or distance/occasion/considering/support/in relation to/payment/representing/toward/meaning/to get/duty. NOTES: None.

    The = an adjective or definitive adjective, that is “the” is used before nouns which are specific or understood; is used to limit their signification to a specific thing or things, or to describe them; can also be used rhetorically before a noun in the singular number, to denote a species by way of distinction; a single thing representing the whole; is used before adjectives in the comparative and superlative degree (the longer / the more). The = an article that goes before a noun; DETERMINER/PARTICULAR and is used: before nouns to refer to particular things or people that have already been talked about or are already known or that are in a situation where it is clear what is happening; used before some nouns that refer to a place when you want to mention that type of place, without showing exactly which example of the place you mean; used before noun phrases in which the range of meaning of the noun is limited in some way; used to refer to things or people when only one exists at any one time; used before a noun to represent the activity connected with the noun (going under the knife/at the wheel); enough(of) {I’d like the go out tonight, but I don’t think I have the energy}; each/every {It gets 30 miles to the gallon}. NOTES: if this is used as a DETERMINER/PARTICULAR in the first defined sense, has the “meek place” already been talked about or known to us (since “the” comes before the noun meek—I define meek below as an adjective, but would argue that a collection of people that are all gentle in nature can be describe in the whole as the meek as in the sentence “The meek shall inherit the Earth”)?

    Meek = is an adjective meaning mild of temper/soft/gentle/not easily provoked or irritated/yielding/ submissive to the divine. NOTES: As above, I would argue that the use of “the” before meek makes meek a noun/pronoun substituting for anything capable of exhibiting meekness ie the embodiment of meekness. Ex: They are all the meek (noun) / They are all meek (adjective). There is a lot of speculation that meek may refer to Joseph Meek. Meek was a trapper/guide whose group had an ill-fated encounter with some Indians which led to Meek becoming separated and wandering into present day YNP where, amongst other things/places, he discovered Mammoth Hot Springs. This idea is plausible and gives searchers Meek’s old stomping grounds to pinpoint and marry the poem with a map—however, why would FF not capitalize the “m” if such line were a nod to Joseph Meek? Perhaps that would be too obvious a nod (as opposed to the Brown reference)?

    The = already defined above. NOTES: seemingly attaches to the next word (end)

    End = a noun meaning the extreme point of a line, or anything which has more length than breadth/the extremity or last part/the close or conclusion of/the conclusion or cessation of an action/the close or conclusion/ultimate state or condition/final doom/the point beyond which no progression can be made/final determination/close of life/death/decease/cessation/limit/termination/destruction/cause of death/destroyer/consequence/issue/result/a fragment or broken piece/upright; as a transitive verb it means to destroy/put to death; as an intransitive verb it means to come to the ultimate point/to be finished/to terminate/to close/to conclude/to cease. NOTES: since end is qualified by “the” before it, it is most likely used as a noun.

    Is = an intransitive verb as the third person singular of the substantive verb be. NOTES: None ATM.

    Ever = an adverb meaning at all times/always/continually/forever. NOTES: as this is a poem, surprising that FF didn’t use the poetic version “e’er” instead of the full word?

    Drawing = a noun meaning the act of pulling, hauling, or attracting/the act of representing the appearance of something on a plain surface; participle present tense meaning pulling/hauling/attracting/delineating. NOTES: seems we need to define the root word here (draw) to get to what definition/part of speech I interpret FF using here, that being some type of verb. Draw = a transitive verb meaning to pull along/to haul/to pull out, as a sword from its sheath/to bring by compulsion/to cause to come/to pull up or out/to suck/to attract/to inhale/to take from a cask/to take a liquid from the body/to cause to slide, as a curtain or blind/to produce/to move gradually or slowly/to lengthen/to utter in a lingering manner/to describe/to represent in fancy/to imagine/to derive/to deduce/to allure/to lead/to induce to move/to win/to receive or take, as from a fund/to bear/to extort/to wrest/to compose/to take out of a box or wheel/to gain or receive by drawing/to extend/to sink into the water/to bend; as an intransitive verb meaning to pull/to act as weight/to shrink/to move/to advance/to be filled or inflated with wind/to unsheathe a sword/to use or practice the art of delineating figures/to collect the matter of an ulcer or abscess; a noun meaning attraction/game result. Adding “ING” to a word has so many interpretations depending on what comes before, after, etc., as well as the part of speech it is defined as, as well as what part of speech it is attaching to, and then how it attaches establishes its part of speech and phrasing (does your head hurt yet, because mine does)…In this instance, draw is adding the “ing” and attaching itself to the next word nigh, but I can’t make heads or tails of whether it becomes an adjective by doing so, or forms an adverbial phrase, if it is definitive or non-finite, if draw is a gerund and therefore makes the 2 words into something else…regardless, drawing is somehow defining or combining with the next word to express one of several possible meanings/interpretations.

    Nigh = an adjective meaning near/not distant or remote/closely allied by blood/easy to be obtained or learnt/ready to support/close in fellowship/near in progress or condition; an adverb meaning near/at a small distance in place or time/near to a place/almost; as an intransitive verb it means to approach/to advance/to draw near. NOTES: In the 1828 version, it states that nigh is never a preposition, but in a modern dictionary, nigh is listed as an adverb and a preposition, both meaning near in time or space. A definition for nigh not listed in either of my chosen online dictionaries, and one which is kicked around a lot, is nigh meaning left or left side. Another source defines nigh as west or westward when one faces north, as well as the left bank of a river when one is facing downstream (this is even more interesting when you consider that FF uses a waterway word later in the sentence—creek—and I have already commented on FF having a self-proclaimed penchant for shaping words and their meanings to suit his own purposes).

    “;” Semi-colon = a mark between 2 parts of a sentence, usually when each of the two parts could form grammatical sentences on their own/also used to separate parts in a list. NOTES: There was a lot of chatter early on in my post about the semicolon, so here are my thoughts, and my understanding of everyone else’s ideas, to date: First used in 1494 by Trevor Lemmon, so you may have to try to incorporate those numbers in your mathematical solve and scour the map for references to Lemony things (either seems to be a bit of a stretch since I had to use Wikipedia to derive that information which seemingly makes it “advanced or specialized” knowledge)/has been used to separate words of opposed meaning (since FF likes to bend and make the rules, seems logical that we could extend this type of usage to incorporate a separation of two opposing sentences)/has been used to allow a rapid change in direction in connecting interdependent statements (this is an interesting definition as it would mean that everything before it and after it are connected somehow—married, joined, coupled, linked, amalgamated, etc.— and the “change in direction” phrasing may certainly tie into a search, perhaps to signify that although you may be looking left or west due to your definition of NIGH, now, because of the semicolon, you may have to alter your travel direction or gaze to hone in on whatever “no paddle up your creek” refers to)/the more modern usage of same is to separate items in a list, especially when the list includes commas, and to link related clauses (the former seems the least likely usage, and the latter near the top of my list of usage & meaning)/has been suggested that such may indicate the halfway point of the journey and also that this spot in the journey is not the end (both plausible options and a nice tie in for double omega – double meaning solves)/In Bowmarcese, it has been used to differentiate parts-of-speech definitions of words from FF’s poem. 🙂 Almost forgot that they can be thought of as secondary boundary marks (for those who like borders, etc.).

    There’ll = a contraction of the words “there” and “will”; There = adverb meaning in that place/thither/to that point or ends; as a pronoun, introduces a sentence, especially before the verbs be, seem, and appear. Will = a noun meaning the faculty of mind by which we determine to do or forebear an action/choice/determination/command/direction/divine determination; a transitive verb meaning the sense is to set forward or stretch forward/to command/to be inclined or resolved to have/to dispose of estate and effects by testament/it is sometimes equivalent to “may be”/can be used as an auxiliary verb signifying the future tense. NOTES: As an auxiliary (or modal) verb, “will” expresses possibility, ability, obligation, or permission—the addition of “no” in the phrase “there’ll be no” causes that to become negated, so why didn’t FF just use the phrasing “There won’t be a paddle up your creek”? Does that have anything to do with future versus past (tense)? If you think about the first clause before the semicolon as the past, now, due to the semicolon, are we making the transition or rapid change in direction to the future (or vice-versa)? Have fun performing the mental gymnastics on this one!

    Be = an intransitive verb meaning to exist/to become/to remain/to let alone/to leave untouched/to have a particular manner of being or happening. NOTES: Be is termed as a defective verb, which means it is represented by other root words, especially as, is, was, and were (present tense of be is am, are, and is; present participle of be is being; past tense of be is was or were; past participle of be is been). To have a particular manner of being or happening seems to me to be the best definition as it is used in this sentence.

    No = an adverb meaning denial or refusal of/expressing a negative/equivalent to nay and not/not in any degree; an adjective meaning not any/none/not one/when preceding the word where, becomes adverbial; if no is on a sign or official notice, it means not allowed. NOTES: Still “no”ne ATM.

    Paddle = a transitive verb meaning to row/to beat the water as with oars/to play in the water with the hands (children) or feet (fowls or other animals)/to finger; an intransitive verb meaning to propel by oar; a noun meaning an oar/the blade or broad part of an oar or weapon/a short handled device used in some games such as table tennis/an instrument used to spank or beat someone; a verb meaning to beat someone with a paddle as punishment. NOTES: Not sure the punishment sense of the word fits here. Steamers used paddle wheels to propel them through the water, so did FF truncate paddle wheel down to paddle and means that no steamer boat has or can go into the creek identified?

    Up = an adverb meaning on high/aloft/out of bed/having risen from a seat/from a state of concealment or discumbiture/in a state of being built/above the horizon/to a state of excitement/to a stat of advance or proficiency/in a state of elevation or exaltation/in a state of climbing or ascending/in a state of insurrection/in a state of being raised or increased/in a state of approaching/in order/from younger to elder years/to an equal height of something else/toward a higher position, value, number, or level/in or into vertical position/in a high position, or at the top/to a greater degree/an order to increase, as in volume or level of speech/into existence, view, or consideration/so as to be equal in quality or achievement/very near to/in a state of being together with other similar things/tightly or firmly in order to keep something safe or in position/made smaller in area or amount, especially by cutting or dividing/to a greater age/into an improved state or position/toward the north; as a preposition meaning farther along, from a lower to higher place, or at the top of; as an adjective (adverb) meaning out of bed/finished, or to an end, finish, or state of being completed; as an adjective operating, especially in its usual way/intended, suggested, or being considered; as a verb meaning to increase the amount or level of something. NOTES: Why do the smallest words have the most definitions and uses?

    Your = pronoun meaning belonging to you/belonging or connected with the person or people being spoken to (the possessive form of you”)/belonging or connected with a person or people generally. NOTES: FF seems to implying that we have to pick a creek that is somehow qualified by the first part of the sentence (TBNPU), and further refined by having HLAWH?

    Creek = a transitive verb meaning to make a harsh, sharp noise; a noun meaning a small inlet, bay, or cove/a recess in the shore of the sea or of a river/any turn in winding/a prominence or jut in a winding coast (archaic or not legitimate)/in some American states, a small river (not justified by etymology, but as streams often enter into creeks and small bays or form them, the name has been extended to small stream in general) /Cambridge dictionary = a noun meaning a small river or stream. NOTES: It is interesting that the 1828 definition of the word uses an archaic and illegitimate meaning—right up FF’s alley for usage of same. If searchers were looking for a creek (Bowmarcese = a small rivulet of water with a definable, shaped course and seasonal flow through the natural setting it is a part of) and FF is referencing a prominence or jut on a winding coast, or a bay/cove, or a recess of a river, no wonder people walk right by?

    , (Comma) = punctuation mark that indicates a pause in a sentence, denotes a slight break between different parts of a sentence, or separates items in a list. Used properly, commas make the meaning of a sentence clear by grouping and separating words, phrases, and clauses.
    Just = an adjective meaning regular/orderly/due/suitable/exactly proportioned/proper/full/complete to the common standard/true/upright in a moral sense/righteous in an evangelical sense/conformed to the rules of justice/conformed to the truth/innocent/equitable/true to promise; as an adverb meaning near or nearly in time/exactly/accurately/merely/barely/exactly; as a noun meaning a mock encounter on horseback; as an intransitive verb meaning to engage in a mock fight on horseback/to push/to justle/to drive. Other online dictionaries= as an adverb meaning now or almost at the same time/very soon/very recently/exactly/only/simply/almost/almost not/ very/completely; as an adjective meaning fair/morally correct/guided by truth/based on right/given or awarded rightly; no noun definition in Cambridge Dictionary, but has it as a noun meaning joust. NOTES: I digress, but can also be a noun or pronoun to define a group of people who are considered righteous/truthful/honest as in “They are the just who will judge us all in the end.” Are we looking for “exactly proportioned” things that make up heavy loads (like twin geologic features made of stone, perhaps)? Are we looking for someplace considered “honest” or even holy in some sense of the term (word of caution not to trespass on or otherwise desecrate a graveyard as such has been ruled out by FF—Tarry Scant Website ID#5946—and personally I would add places of Native American heritage viewed as holy/sacred ground and not just what is considered burial grounds but other consecrated areas as well). The simplest usage of the word seems appropriate when tied in with the phrasing before and after, and that being “only” or “simply”—you won’t have boaters or swimmers up you creek (no paddle), only heavy loads (boulders in the waterway, the hills or mountains at the head of the creek) and water high (other waterways in the hills/mountains, snow-caps, glaciers, clouds)?

    Heavy = an adjective meaning weighty/ponderous/having great weight/tending strongly to the center of of attraction/contrary to light/sad/sorrowful/dejected/depressed in mind/grievous/burdensome/oppressive/wanting life and animation/dull/drowsy/wanting spirit/slow/sluggish/tedious (like seeing this “The Poem as Nine Sentences” blog through to the end)/moist/deep/lying with weight on the stomach/difficult/laborious/weary/inflicting severe evils, punishments, or judgments/swelling and rolling with great force/large in amount/not raised by leaven or fermentation/thick/dense/black/violent/forcible/requiring much labor or expense/loud; as an adverb meaning with great weight; as a transitive verb meaning to make weighty. Other online dictionaries = adjective meaning weighing a lot/thick, strong, solid, or looking that way/of great amount, or degree, or force/hard to lift/of great quantity/of great force, intensity, turbulence/of major import/grave/serious/deep or intense/profound; a noun meaning a somber or emboldened theatrical role or character/the theatrical role of a villain/militarily a gun of great weight or caliber/slang for a person with much importance or influence. NOTES: Up to this point I have always thought of heavy loads as mountains, but then I found a definition of heavy meaning turbulent—perhaps heavy loads and water high both describe the creek and combine to make such impassible by paddling?

    Loads = 1828 version has no definition of either loads or load—words suggested by the program include loader and loaded, so lets take a look at those, shall we. Loaded = passive participle meaning charged with a load or cargo/having a burden/freighted, as a ship/having a charge of powder, or powder shot, as a gun/burdened with anything oppressive. Loader = a noun meaning one who put on a load. Hmmm, sure is funny that the word load appears in the definitions of both and is a root word for each. Other online dictionaries (load) = a noun meaning weight carried/the weight being moved by a lever/the amount of work to be done by a person/the quantity borne or sustained by something/burden; as a verb meaning to put into a piece of equipment something it uses to make it work/to put something in or on a vehicle/fill/to supply abundantly, lavishly, or excessively with something/to put or take on a load, as in passengers, cargo, or goods/to enter a carrier or conveyance/to become filled or occupied; informally as an adverb (specifically as loads) meaning very much or a great deal. NOTES: In my fourth or fifth online dictionary I finally found “loads” in the thesaurus section used as a noun meaning a large number or amount or a lot. HL then means a lot of turbulence, and JHLAWH means only a lot of turbulent, deep water?

    And = conjunction meaning further.

    Water = a noun. Typically defined as a fluid which is made up of hydrogen and oxygen in a 15/85 ratio (for you numbers solvers) and, more abstractly, includes its solid state of ice or snow (which is produced by the loss of heat by liquid water) and its gaseous state of steam (which is produced by the addition of heat to liquid water); the Ocean; abstractly = urine; the coloration or luster of a diamond or pearl; any of several fluids or humors in animal bodies; to be sound or tight (as in “to hold water” (obsolete)). NOTES: Despite FF being famously outdoorsy, I am not inclined to think he is using urine as his definition of waters, nor the animal humors. I am also willing to discount the diamond/pearl coloration definition as it does not seemingly mesh with the rest of the sentence and neither does the obsolete meaning (sound or tight). That leaves water, which most likely means some type of waterway, and ocean/lake, both of which are some type of definable area occupied by the substance water. Water can also be a verb (sorry I missed it the first time around) meaning to provide water to a plant or animal/the process of the eye producing tears/the process of the mouth producing saliva.

    High = an adjective meaning extending a great distance above the surface of the earth/elevated/lofty/rising or having already risen/elevated above the horizon/exalted in nature or dignity/elevated in condition, rank, or office/possessing or governed by honorable pride/noble/exalted in excellence or extent/threatening or angry/expressive of pride and haughtiness/illustrious/mighty/ difficult/abstruse/boastful/ostentatious/arrogant/loud/violent/severe/oppressive/rushing with velocity/complete/rich/well seasoned/of a great price or greater price than usual/remote from the equator north or south/remote in past time or early in former time (as in high antiquity)/extreme or intense/in music, sharp or acute/much raised/great or capital, especially as committed against the king, sovereign, or state/great/exalted; as a noun meaning an elevated place/superior region/aloft. Other online dictionaries = an adjective meaning greater than usual level/time of being most successful, enjoyable, important, or valuable/near or at the top of the range of sounds/feeling extremely happy, excited, or full of energy/situated above the ground or some base; as an adverb meaning at or to a large distance from the ground/nautically meaning as close to the wind as possible while making headway with sails full; a noun meaning at a level above what has ever been reached before/a period of extreme excitement or happiness or when you feel full of energy/informally a high school/slangly a euphoric state induced by alcohol, drug, etc./in cards, the ace or highest trump out. NOTES: Does WH somehow allude to the elevation one is now at or approaching in the quest, thus tying in with FF’s quote detailing that Indulgence is above 5’000 feet and below 10,200 feet (Tarry Scant ID#3699)?

    . (Period) = punctuation mark indicating a full stop/expresses the finality of what is being said (written).

    TRANSLATION: Too many to post ATM


    TBNPUYC = up a creek means from the mouth towards the head, or against the stream of the water—does this mean we will not be going from the mouth to the head, but the other direction (downstream)? What if this sentence is just stating that the creek you are at has signage stating there’s no rafting/wading/swimming in this area because of the boulders/rocks in the water as well as the speed, flow, depth of the waters (water high could mean volume or flow rate)?

    FTINPFTM,TEIEDN;—um, forgot what my thought was going to be here, but will leave it in just in case it comes back to me later (probably the blockbuster piece of evidence that singularly would have led Dal to find Indulgence, but hey, there is always tomorrow to comment). 🙂
    TBNPUYC,JHLAWH. = What if you can’t paddle the creek because of big rocks (HL) and fast flowing water (WH)?

    What if the semicolon is the beginning part of the “mirror” trip?

    Up Your Creek = Idiom is “Up the creek” meaning experiencing difficulties.

    Your Creek = Seems to indicate that we have to pick a singular waterway as it is not creeks?

    What if this sentence ties back into WWWH? WWWH is the mouth of the watercourse FF is taking us down, and HLAWH is what makes the WW? It could be that WWWH, although the place where FF tells us to begin, such location is actually the destination that is ever drawing nigh, making the PIBTHOB the actual beginning and the NFBTFTW the distance between HOB and HLAWH (AKA WWWH) as delineated by ATIITCD? Mind blown, literally and figuratively, with that possibility—Hope this gets more than the crickets chirping when I post it!

    Exhausted (and out of coffee) so may as well post it as is.

    Hopefully there are comments/debate after my nap…


    • Bomarc, nice job on this and thanks for doing the work and posting. I have a few of things that come to mind when reading this.

      First in regards to:

      “A definition for nigh not listed in either of my chosen online dictionaries, and one which is kicked around a lot, is nigh meaning left or left side.”

      I have heard about people referring to nigh as left on here as well. Does anyone know where this came from and what their source was? Also, in reference to :

      “Another source defines nigh as west or westward when one faces north, as well as the left bank of a river when one is facing downstream”

      Can you tell me what your source was for this?

      Lastly in regards to:

      “What if this sentence ties back into WWWH? WWWH is the mouth of the watercourse FF is taking us down, and HLAWH is what makes the WW? It could be that WWWH, although the place where FF tells us to begin, such location is actually the destination that is ever drawing nigh, making the PIBTHOB the actual beginning and the NFBTFTW the distance between HOB and HLAWH (AKA WWWH) as delineated by ATIITCD? Mind blown, literally and figuratively, with that possibility—Hope this gets more than the crickets chirping when I post it!”

      What was it that made you tie the sentence back to WWWH? I am just curious because I have a general solve that could use different WWWH. One of the WWWH leads me right back to HLAWH similar to what you suggest. Perhaps your reasoning could help me justify doing something like this.

      • Aaron – the first nigh has to do with a team of horses, the left most being the nigh horse. The second nigh was listed during an online search but I cannot reference the source as I never wrote it down—if you do a google search for “the definition of nigh” I am sure you will find just such a definition.

        As to you last statement, I literally thought of that this morning as I was typing out and reviewing the post and am still trying to wrap my noggin around the concept. I guess this means that WWWH is where FF wants us to start, but it is located on the other end of our journey, so he describes the destination (WWWH), the lanscape from WWWH (TIITCD), and then gives us the command to actually begin by PIBTHOB. From there, since we are journeying towards WWWH and not away from it, it makes sense that it starts to become NPFTM since my current line of thinking is that WWWH is turbulent water. Kind of ironic, and just up FF’s alley, to say begin at WWWH, but it is both the end and the beginning.

        • I do think that this theory is feasible. Just because WWWH is the first clue does not mean you have to physically start there and could be the same or near to water high IMO. That works in a general solve of mine but doesn’t help so much with the blaze.

    • Bowmarc,

      Whew!! That’s a lot of reading in your above posts. Nice job.

      Is there going to be a quiz? 🙂 I don’t know if I can remember all that you said. 🙁 Once again, good job.


    • Bowmarc –

      I have never found reference to Nigh meaning “left” outside of the Chase. The directional inference I am familiar with is the one you list. The Nigh side is the west when you are facing North. Sure, that’s is to the left, but that is not the same as meaning ‘left”.

      When it comes to horses driving your wagon, that’s not direct either. Nigh means near. Since we drive on the left, that horse is the nigh horse. It does not actually mean “left”. The horse on the left is the near horse.

      Whenever I point something like this out folks just respond with Well the dictionary says it means left, so….


      • The heck with the dictionary… Where’s the imagination?
        The poem is difficult, but not impossible.
        What did fenn say in the book…oh right… Words in the dictionary I bend a little.

        • Seeker –

          What I am saying man is that there is no reason whatsoever to think Fenn meant left. But I will ask him and maybe he will just tell us so that the nigh means left crowd can rethink.

          • No reason to think fenn looked up words and definition of words and changed them and rebooted till it came out just like he wanted?

            Ok… I guess in theory of directions far can’t mean east.. nigh can’t be west.. down can’t be south or up can’t mean north.

            How am I ever going to read this dang map?

      • Lug – I appreciate the response. I have compiled, to the best of my ability, meanings for, and even some idioms related to, words within FF’s poem and offered them up for comment and consideration. Each person has to decide to use, bend (further), or discard same. I can’t help but prove your point, because some dictionary (or similar online reference material) did list left as a possible interpretation/definition of nigh. Until one finds Indulgence, the exact interpretation won’t be known, but given FF wrote it, it will probably mean both. 🙂

      • Well said Lugnutz.! I’m with you. Nigh means near. Fenn had no trouble using up and down. I would expect him to use left as well if that was the intended direction.

        • Tom – I hope you are joking at least a little bit. If FF were to plainly say go up, go left, etc., and it were that simple, someone would have Indulgence already.

          • Bowmarc-

            He uses other directions in plain language, go in, take it, down etc etc.

            Why the mystery for left?

            Lugnutz curious

          • What’s “down” in the field, Only an elevation?
            What’s “down” on a map, Only Elevation???
            What does a poem allow a writer to do… Multiple Meanings and usages of words?

            The idea that Nigh can only be one usage, means that cold must be the flu, right? cause warm is only a temperature, and IF the poem was meant for ‘people’ [ as another suggested ] then a [warm] temperature must be illness = cold…?… in the context of that thought, right?

            How can anyone know what plain English means, if the context for directions is strictly words lacking in actual directions.. “Take it in the canyon down” is only meant as elevation? and not any other type of direction, such as south? or southward…
            LOL What happens if wwwh is in the middle of a canyon [ higher elevation area ]??? So, we go down…
            LOL where to then?
            Right? Left? East? West? North? South? back up? Or do we just wait for hoB to jump out and say, Hey! follow me to a place, not meant for the meek…

      • @Lugnutz: Nigh being left comes from horses, but not in the way you mentioned. You always approach, mount, and work with horses from the left side. The tradition goes back to the days of knights who kept their swords on their left, so that they can draw them with their right hand. You mount a horse from the left so your sword doesn’t get in the way. Check out any professional photo of a handler with a horse. They’ll be on the left. It’s what we do. The left side came to be known as the “near” or “nigh” side.

        • I don’t know what it means in the poem, just dropping equestrian knowledge bombs. 🙂

          • Step 1
            The left side of the horse is called the near side.
            Step 2
            Nigh is another word for near

            Point A
            When you have 2 horses pulling the horse the horse in front of you is the near horse
            Point B
            See step 2 above

            That near/nigh horse has a near/nigh side but they are not the same and neither means left, they mean near.

            The end is drawing nigh means the end is approaching. It only means something else because we made it so.

            Jeremy are you a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean?

            Lugnutz on the nigh side

          • Absolutely I am of Pirates of the Caribbean. I think that’s a requirement for any would-be treasure hunter. Drink up me ‘earties yo ho!

            The nigh/near side means the left side. We didn’t make it so, tradition did.

          • Lug,
            Near side or nearside originated in England [ plain English language ] the nearside to the curb [kerb] or left side of the vehicle… Does it matter if it’s a horse or a vehicle, or does it matter that the usage can be considered a direction on a “map” that we have been told to marry the clues to.

  31. Bowmarc… very nice post….with many twists and turns. As I read through the second time, I was remembering many of the long past threads on this here blog that folks shared along the way. It is good to remember…

  32. Oh Mighty Fenn –

    Keeper of Secrets
    Bearer of good news
    Concealer of treasures
    Flyer among walkers
    Ringer of Bells

    I beseech thee answer this single question.
    When you wrote your poem to reveal the path to the end of your rainbow, did nigh mean left or near?

    In reverence, with respect, your humble disciple,
    Lugnutz Dodge

    • Hi Lug – I’m pretty sure f would say, that’s for you to figure out. It wouldn’t be fun if he gave you the answer IMO.

    • Lug. Most of us are hopelessly lost anyway. We might as well ever go to the left and make circles. 🙂

  33. For over one year, I was in the One Sentence = one clue camp.

    A couple of things did not seem logical to me.
    1) Why did the stanza that ends with these words:
    “Just take the chest and go in peace.” appear in the middle of the poem?
    This made no sense to me.
    2) Every riddle that I ever read started with a question – If this poem was a riddle, why didn’t it start with a question.

    My solution was to move stanza #5 and #6 to above Stanza #1. Doing this fixed both of my problems – It started the poem with a question – “So why is it that I must go and leave my trove for all to seek?”

    And, it made the last line of the poem, “Just take the chest and go in peace.

    Forrest said that the first clue was. “Begin it where warm waters halt.”

    Since this is clue #1 – what are all of the lines above that? After a lot of thinking and analysis, I decided that all of these lines/sentences – starting with So why must I go… through “And hint of riches new and old.” were all hints.

    That meant that the nine clues HAD to be between “Begin it where…” and “Just take the chest and go in peace.” This ended my One sentence = one clue theory.

    So, today I am out of the “One sentence = one clue” camp.

    I still keep the “One sentence = one “Hint” for stanza’s 5, 6 and 1, but break down the sentences in stanza’s 2,3 and 4 so that I have nine “Clues” within these three stanzas.

    Is this the correct way? Heck if I know, but to me it is much more logical. Will it lead to Indulgence? I guess that only time will tell.

    I am, in no way, suggesting that others break down the odd way that I have broken it down, but it “Works for me.” JDA

    • JDA – For my current line of thinking (understanding) of the poem, stanza 1 is the opening of the poem, and the last to stanzas the closing, with the clues contained in consecutive order in the middle 3 stanzas. IMO.

      • Also, JDA, there are lots of riddles that do not start with a question, but have one at or near to the end of same. For example:

        As I was going to St. Ives,
        I met a man with seven wives,
        Each wife had seven sacks,
        Each sack had seven cats,
        Each cat had seven kits:
        Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
        How many were there going to St. Ives?

        Answer: One

        NOTE: Where is it we have seen a riddle start with the words “As I” and such sentence is not a question? 🙂

        There are also riddles that do not have any answer at all. A famous example comes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, when the Mad Hatter poses this puzzle to Alice:

        “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

        Answer: The Hatter doesn’t have the answer, and as it turns out, Carroll didn’t, either. But readers’ desire for closure was so intense that the author was forced to dream up an answer that later appeared in a preface: “Enquiries have been so often addressed to me, as to whether any answer to the Hatter’s Riddle can be imagined, that I may as well put on record here what seems to me to be a fairly appropriate answer, viz: ‘Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!’ This, however, is merely an afterthought; the Riddle, as originally invented, had no answer at all.”

        • If the poem is a riddle does the question in the poem help us solve then:

          So why is it that I must go
          And leave my trove for all to seek?

          According to the next line he knows the answers. If we know the answers should that help us? If so how?

    • JDA—-

      I like your idea of moving the two stanzas above the original first stanza. It makes good sense IMO. I believe you could be be right that the poem, if it is a riddle, most likely starts with a question. Good thinking.

    • JDA,

      I would think it’s possible that if f considers parts of his poem to be a riddle that maybe he didn’t express the riddle in the form of a question.

      I looked up the definition of a riddle after reading your post cause you made a good point about the riddles you’ve seen all start with a question.

      The definition I found said a riddle is a statement, question, or phrase that has a double meaning.

      F may have deliberately chosen the statement route of a riddle to better hide the fact that he used a riddle. IMO, the first stanza is a riddle with only one answer.

      • Or, he deliberately “Hid” the question aspect of a riddle by putting it in the middle of the poem, and expects US to position it at the beginning – I know conformation bias – JDA

      • Fun D, good leg work. When Fenn first made the “riddle” statement it came as a shocker to most. Especially after all that lapsed time since his “…Latin, Bible verses, riddles…” statement. Much was discussed about the “riddle”. It was pointed out on numerous occasions even before these that the poem was an enigma. The definition of an enigma…you guessed it…a riddle.
        There are some really good sources out there on riddles and how they have evolved, including their distinct alignment with poetry. Another interesting reference points out the use of opposing statements in riddles that test contemporary boundaries and brings to light that all is not what it seems when reading a literary piece. Riddles with questions are predominantly defined in terms of a pun.

  34. The word ever also means at any time. I was going left at every choice because I was thinking that ever meant always. I think this made me go into a rabbit hole. So, please be aware of both definitions for ever.

  35. The end is ever drawing nigh……

    The clues in the poem are in consecutive order, but the instructions may not necessarily be in “line by line” order. Some lines are not instructions, but are observations.

    Begin it where warm waters halt (starting point)
    And take it in the canyon down, (instruction to go in the canyon)
    Not far, but too far to walk. (how far to go before taking it in the canyon)
    Put in below the home of Brown. (a more precise spot to put in the canyon)

    So what I am saying is that the lines are telling you more about the lines above, so instead of jumping into the canyon down right at the point of WWWH, you may have to drive down a mile or two before actually going into the canyon down. Does this make any sense to anyone but me?

    This logic assumes that the “canyon” he speaks of is present at the place where warm waters halt, and is present later along the road as well. This scenario requires a road to be above the canyon, or that it follows the canyon as it meanders along.

    In order to “put in” to the canyon down “below the home of Brown”, you have to travel to the point where the hoB is adjacent to the road and the canyon where you have to go into. This assumes that you can see the hoB from where you are traveling along the road for a mile or two.

    Now you can actually enter the canyon and go down into it, then you are faced with another line, with the instruction following after.

    From there it’s no place for the meek, (an instruction to cross the creek)
    The end is ever drawing nigh; (observation that you are closer with each step)
    There’ll be no paddle up your creek, (tells you that you will have to walk UP the creek for a distance before you can cross it easily)
    Just heavy loads and water high. (perhaps the water carries heavy loads of silt, and you cannot even see to the bottom, and as you walk UP the creek, the water ahead is always higher, hence “water high”)

    Think of heavy loads for a minute. What is that? Is it something that sits on the banks of the creek, or along the waterway somewhere? Or is it something the water carries with it? Then at the end of the water course, it ends where warm waters halt, and the silt is dumped into a river or lake and is very evident at that starting point.

    This is how I see the poem, and it is my humble opinion of course. Yours may be totally different.


    • Hey Franklin,
      The idea is good, but are we forgetting that others “walked” by the remaining clues and the chest?
      So, if at wwwh, we actually need to go into the canyon… could “not far” be the clue for “no meek” and to get there [“from there” being wwwh] we need hoB areas to “put in” view-able from wwwh … “But too far to walk” meaning; we go pass “no meek” [ from a higher elevation] to get to hoB and, put in there, to actually get to Whatever “no place for the meek” refers to? At this point No place for the meek’s end is near and we have Heavy Loads and Water High above us… the first clue wwwh.
      The overall distance traveled by foot could be 1/4 mile one way, or approx a mile total for one full trip… rinse and repeat, because the car is parked at or very near wwwh.

      This eliminates the use of a car for any unknown distance and explains how to get to clue “meek” by a longer, but the only route that even fenn had to follow? on foot and very hike-able. No major distance of miles between clues [even though I don’t think fenn traveled a canyon at all down and up [twice] in one afternoon carrying a heavy backpack. ]

      Your scenario is almost the same only you make NFBTFTW to be to hoB… why can that [tftw] refer to No Meek or even the chest? The idea is the chest is located below wwwh… not far in elevation ~ but ya can’t get there from here [there?]

      • Seeker

        My interpretation is just a theory, based on my own favorite solve area. If I have the wrong “special place”, then all my ideas are wrong as well. All theories and theses are on the table until the true solution is found, and the finder “goes in peace”.

        That part of the poem is kind of strange too, as going happy and giddy is more like what I imagine. So his use of the phrase “just take the chest and go in peace” is probably more meaningful than we know yet. So is there a rattlesnake under that blaze or what? Anyway, good thoughts Seeker. I read all your posts!


        • Franklin,
          Both theories are just that… I only took your thoughts and attempted to use ATF comments to line up with a reason for an unknown distance… NFBTFTW, and make it a hike more than a drive-thru.
          The simplest explanation that went with your thoughts was, Not Far, to be an elevation factor, rather than, a distance not capable to walk.
          The only real twist between our thoughts is; No place for the meek would be below both hoB [ the path to No Meek] and wwwh [ No Meek seen below this location]
          The question is… why would hoB be needed at all, in my scenario?… Maybe the path is hidden itself? And why folks walked by everything?
          If you knew what hoB is, you’d go right to the chest, line of thinking.
          When I post in response to a post like yours or others… I’m not attempting to say… In my solve it’s this or that..
          I’m working off your thoughts and attempting to see / dissect any possible flaws. [whether there is one or not] the attempt is to use ATF as helpful in any thought process.

          To be honest, it not to help you as much as it is to help me…to think of those WhatIF ideas. So, should you come back and say how My thoughts can’t work because of this or that… I’d listen. If all I get is… ‘it works for me.’ Then there is no real conversation or reason to post.

          • I believe we need home of Brown to give us a reference point for where to jump in to the canyon down. Otherwise, there is no marker. He uses it to designate a place to stop and go into the canyon, which is very long and could be entered way too early, wasting a lot of time and effort. He makes it easy for us to know where to put in. After experiencing the creek, the heavy loads and water high, you cross it and find the blaze. There is it, the blaze. Right there !!!

            So maybe it’s a big rock shaped like a spaceship. The front of it has an opening and inside there is a bunch of stones making an arrow pointng forward. Then you get your flash light out and start looking, and BINGO, there it is!! The TC is there. You have to crawl in to get it, and it’s cold under the rock as it is 20 feet back, but is not buried. So fight your way in past the roots and rocks, and get it, and pull it out. Then what?

            Well, then we have to tarry scant with marvel gaze and take the chest and go in peace. HUH?

            Ok, I admit my reasoning is not complete, but there it is. Now I still cling to my first search area due to very good reasons. We are still unable to reconcile some other parts of the poem. Very weird, but I just discovered a big F on a rock a little further down the road. What now??

  36. Due to my current solve process and my ramblings, I’ve had that “what took you so long” moment regarding TTOTC.

    My daughter is one of the smartest people I know, and I’ve been trying to connect with her more by participating in, and getting her involved with, TTOTC. Last night when I gave her the proverbial puzzle pieces, and piece by piece she arrived at the same conclusion I already had, her eyes and smile lit up the world.

    I’ve read many times about searchers who are confident about their own solves and how they compliment FF on his cleverness. Our own solve may go down as just more hyperbole and once again validate that FF is a genius. Time will tell.

    The reality of our situation is that BOTG was always right up there with solving FF’s poem——the very definition of impossible.

    The idea of some type of partnership to complete the process seems like a logical solution to both impossibilities and is something to give serious consideration to.


    • Bomarc, I would be down for a partnership / team effort. I have been thinking about this for a while and realize that this type of an effort is the best and maybe the only way to find the chest.

      I’ll have BOTG in the summer with a solve that I believe explains every line of the poem up until waters high and possibly even wise. I think only BOTG will get me further.

      I have a question for you if you could email me at

    • I love those moments….”why haven’t I seen this before”.
      That is great you are going to get your daughter involved. Maybe, have some more great bonding experiences.
      I found it interesting you mentioned if your solve didn’t work, it would once again show how much of a genius FF is…..
      I had not thought of it like that before.
      Maybe, your answer will be correct and it will show how brilliant Mr. Forrest is….

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