Chelsea Wedding Poem Highlights Poet Leo MarksLeo Marks's Poems Were Actually Encrypted Messages Carried By British Intelligence During the War
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 British cryptographer Leo Marks. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin)
(CBS) 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.