Tuesday, July 19, 2016

An Internet Shroud

We've all been told, "Don't believe everything you read on the Internet!"  Here is an example:

I have been reading Samuel Taylor Coleridge's masterpiece, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." There are a few archaic words in the poem that I was unfamiliar with (e.g. eftsoons and ivy-tod), so I went on line to do a little research. I came across Vocabulary.com with a list from Coleridge's poem.

For "shroud" Vocabulary.com gives this definition: "burial garment in which a corpse is wrapped."

Of course, this is one definition of "shroud," but not the meaning in the poem.

"And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!

   1876 Engraving by Gustave Dore

"In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine"

Shroud is a nautical term for any of the taut ropes or cables forming part of a ship's standing rigging supporting the mast, and steadying it against lateral sway. Clearly this is the meaning in the above stanza.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about one of the early July 4th Parades written by Alice Rondthaler in 1953. It is accompanied by vintage photos.You can read the Newsletter here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news062116.htm.  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:38 AM

    O K. What about hollo? Is this the original spelling of Hello, a greeting?? And I ask, when did Hello turn into Hi?? The engraving looks as if it is the first time the crew saw that big A** bird-- they appear frightened.