I have, on more than one occasion, claimed to be a “poem purist.”
Why do I identify myself that way?
Because, I believe that the solution to finding the treasure he hid is in the poem.
The poem that, I remind you, took him 15 years to write after his near-death brush with cancer.
Beyond that, there are Fenn’s own words:
“All of the information you need to find the treasure is in the poem. The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker.”
I have, also on more than one occasion, taken criticism for my position, other searchers writing that poem purism is not possible, e.g., “There is no way a person can say that they are a ‘poem purist.’ There’s no such thing. If you want to say that you just believe the poem is all one needs and nothing else to solve the puzzle, then …..OK? Good luck with that. It doesn’t make any sense.” (1)
I don’t agree. Think of it this way.
What if Fenn had never written his memoir?
What if, as he had originally planned, he carried the the treasure to its hiding place, lain down beside it, allowed himself the luxury of determining the time and place of his own death, and left only the poem (he took 15 years to compose) behind, with instructions to his attorney to publish it on a date certain?
No hints, no clues, no “The Thrill of the Chase,” or “Too Far to Walk.” Not even a “…someplace in the mountains North of Santa Fe.”
Here’s what: It’s in the poem. Anything else is distraction – Fenn’s intentional distraction. Distraction assuring the hidden treasure would not be found in our lifetime or a hundred years. Or a thousand years. Or, maybe, ten thousand years.