The Doldrums

August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment


All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

~ Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Did you know that ‘The Doldrums’ is an old nautical phrase used to describe a complete lack of wind that leaves ships stranded where they are? The root ‘dold’ is an old English word for ‘stupid’. The Doldrums is also a place in The Phantom Tollbooth where the Lethargarians live and “nothing ever happens and nothing ever changes“.

I love the English language.

The Doldrums

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