Penelope’s Poetry Parlor: September Treasure Hunt Challenge


Our theme for the library this year is What a Wonderful World, and to that end, we’re focusing on seeing the wonder in our world. Usually, every month at the desk, we have an article available for patrons to read and discuss with Julie, our library director, but this year, we’re handing out poems instead. Our trusty library goose is also helping us pen a monthly column that focuses on some of the gems in our poetry collection.

Usually, for these poetry posts, I’ve been focusing on discussing poems in our library’s collection paired with poems that connect with our monthly color theme.

But this month, our color is treasured turquoise, and that got us to thinking about treasure hunts and, well, now we have a treasure hunt challenge just for you. Sorry, not sorry. Read on, hearty adventurer!

Our chosen poem for September is Forrest Fenn’s treasure poem. I was not aware this was a thing until quite recently, but he was an art dealer who published a poem in 2010 that talked of buried treasure in the Rocky Mountains. This triggered a rather wild decade-long treasure hunt that resulted in 5 deaths, several arrests, an FBI raid, accusations of fraud, and a whole bevy of lawsuits. Someone claimed to find the treasure last year, which, as is per the usual for this case, triggered more lawsuits and accusations.

We were inspired to craft our own much milder treasure hunt, one you can complete in the comfort of your home. All you need is our own treasure poem (see below) and our blog to identify the 9 blog posts hinted at it in the poem. You’ll have until September 30th to untangle the clues.

Once you’ve puzzled out the puzzle, come to the library to demonstrate your treasure hunt prowess by providing us with the titles of the 9 Berryville Book Buzz posts alluded to in the poem, and you will receive a “gold” prize! Likewise, if you’re hopelessly stumped, let us know, and we just might give you a hint because we’re friendly like that.

And without further pause–and with apologies for how much WordPress hates formatting stanzas–I give you our treasure poem.

Berryville’s Treasure Poem, or There’s Gold in That Thar Blog

Inspired by Fenn's treasure hunt,
The library delivers this poem.
It’s no publicity stunt—
Just a quest to enjoy from home!
Use the clues as you navigate
Our blog and peruse the archives.
The post titles you must locate.
There are a total of nine.
You will start with two great cities.
Try to find the one that is lost—
The other silent, frozen, pretty—
The Amazon and Canada crossed.
Keep in mind on your journey, 
Don’t be like Connery and Caine.
If you need a model, let it be
A rodeo cowboy, not vain.
You will see a mountain of gold, 
A rich family history,
And though its secrets can’t be told,
A pirate treasure mystery.
An intrepid author you must find, 
North to the Klondike! Tigers prowl 
In these hills where the gold shines,
In the distance, a jellicle meow.

Happy hunting, dear readers!

Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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