The Thrill of the Chase and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Because I had previously worked with The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam once before, I found it interesting to do so again.  While reading Forrest Fenn’s book, I immediately recognized the first quatrain on page 101 of The Thrill of the Chase to be one linked to an unsolved code from 1948.  The quatrain is as follows:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

The above quatrain has been used to try and break a possible coded message, which consists of five unexplainable lines of letters (shown below).  These mysterious lines were lightly written in the back of a copy of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Edward FitzGerald.  The book was found connected to an unidentified dead man, who was discovered on Somerton Beach in 1948.   The similarity between the code’s ‘cancelled out half line’ (notice the similar letters in the fourth line), and the quatrain’s third line, caused investigators to consider there being a connection between the two.  Could the quatrain be used as a key for the code?

The article, The Unsolved Code of the Somerton Man, provides more of the circumstances surrounding the story and code.  They are totally intriguing and a twisted mess.

The theme of The Rubaiyat, for many, conveys the thought, ‘live life well, full, and with no regrets; for death is inevitable’.  A powerful read, and like Mr. Fenn said in his book, they are stories which made him think.

The third quatrain listed in The Thrill of the Chase is not found in the first edition of translations finished by FitzGerald.  However, his second edition, from 1868, does include it.  Each quatrain is numbered, and for mere fun, I noted which numbers they were.   The three included in The Thrill of the Chase are numbers 76, 27, and 67 in FitzGerald’s second edition.  These numbers do change in the third edition and beyond.

Although these poems are held dear to Mr. Fenn, I wondered if that was the only reason he chose these particular three quatrains to place in his book.  There are many others and they all carry immense meaning.   I decided to apply the quatrain’s numbers to letters in Forrest Fenn’s poem.

Interestingly, and most likely coincidentally, the 27th letter is a W.  The 67th and 76th are letters A and R.  This does spell the word WAR in the correct numerical order.  The title of Mr. Fenn’s chapter, in which the quatrains were written, is ‘My War For Me.’ In this section, right after these quatrains, he writes, “Those thoughts have so much to say to me.”

These loose associations got me to question again, if WAR really is coincidental?  I don’t know for sure (I lean towards still saying yes, and feel it was just a ‘fun little find’.  I like how the Moving Finger put it there).  And even if it is intentional, I wouldn’t say I think they are important to the actual finding of the treasure chest.  But, if they were intended as a fun find, then it would seem there could be a deeper type of code to break in order to find specifics for Forrest Fenn’s treasure.

 

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3 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Paramahansa Yoganananda wrote a book on the subject of “The Rubiayat of Omar Kayan.” I think that the book is called “Wine of the Mystic.” It was meant to give this type of “better translation” or “better understanding” of Fitzgerald’s work.

    Despite the fact that Yogananda refused to interpret the work, he did give this type of “glossory” which accompanied the lines of Fitzgerald’s translation, where he would attempt to define what he believed was actually meant by Kayan. For example “Dawn’s Left Hand” – The first inspiration to solve life’s mystery.”

    Here is a link to where you can read some of the accompampnying translations as they relate to the glossary of Yogananda. Sadly, this webpage was written by some Sufi who had a bone to pick with Yogananda. However, I really like the Website, and on several occassions, have gone back to read bits and pieces of the translation and the accompanying “glossory.” 

    http://oaks.nvg.org/rua.html

  2. astree says:

    Thanks Jenny, for the article, and link back to your previous article. I am going to try to spend some time looking at ti.

    “Interestingly, and most likely coincidentally, the 27th letter is a W. The 67th and 76th are letters A and R. This does spell the word WAR in the correct numerical order. The title of Mr. Fenn’s chapter, in which the quatrains were written, is ‘My War For Me.’ In this section, right after these quatrains, he writes, “Those thoughts have so much to say to me.” ”

    That’s incredible. I guess it depends on what meaning we place behind “coincidence”.

    All the more so, as the first line associated with that found body, WR GO A BAB D, can be rearranged to WAR BOD BAG.

    WR GO A, as to the Maranatha p. 38, as writ, first letter each line

    W ITHMETHE
    R ICHAREPOOR
    A NDWITH

    Be Well,
    astree

  3. Findingit says:

    The version of My War for Me released online in 2006 contained the following, as well:
    There was a Door to which I found no Key:
    There was a Veil past which I could not see:
    Some little Talk awhile of ME and THEE
    There seemed—and then no more of THEE and ME.

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