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Chelsea Wedding Poem Highlights Poet Leo Marks

There was no traditional Shakespeare quotation for Chelsea and her groom-to-be.

When Chelsea Clinton wed her longtime beau Mark Mezvinsky this past weekend, the couple chose to include the poem, "The Life That I Have" by Leo Marks.

The life that I have is all that I have
And the life that I have is yours
The love that I have of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have, a rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years in the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

But was Leo Marks more than just a poet?

Marks, born in 1920 was a cryptographer who worked as a code breaker during WWII in Winston Churchill's intelligence unit, Special Operations Executive. His "poems" were really encrypted messages for agents to use in the field.


Marks was considered a great innovator in the field of code writing and code breaking, helping the British carry out many successful covert missions against the Germans.

Marks reportedly honed his skills as a cryptographer by setting the famously difficult London Times cryptic crossword, according to the U.K. Telegraph.

He later left British intelligence and pursued a writing career. He wrote a number of plays and films and eventually published a book about his career as a codewriter and codebreaker, Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's Story 1941-1945. He died in 2001.

It's possible that former president Bill Clinton, a well known crossword puzzle lover, may have introduced his daughter to the fascinating work of Leo Marks, who encrypted something beautiful into a code that ultimately saved the lives of countless Allied forces during desperate times.

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