Wednesday, April 04, 2012

D is for Dory


I wrote this wee poem to honour the dory in my picture from August of 2010:

Buttering the silent water
Bobbing slowly into winter
Buffed curves of poignancy
Burnishing our sweet autumn.

And The Dictionary of Newfoundland English defines “Dory” thus:

A small flat-bottomed boat with flaring sides and a sharp bow and stern, providing both stability in the water and easy stowage in stacks on deck, used esp in fishing with hand-lines and trawls; freq in designations of various sizes of vessel employing such craft: four-dory vessel, etc

The dory was an intrinsic part of the fisher's life for hundreds of years in Newfoundland. They are still used (and built) here and often towed (as they were back then too) behind the long liners. And they are painted in their own distinctive colour – dory buff, a soft golden yellow.

These days there are dory races, incredible to behold. The speed attained by the men at the oars make these flat-bottomed heavyweights sing through the water.

And I was at a funeral here, several years ago, where an empty dory was carried into the church and placed, bottom up, beside the casket. The lump in my throat took a long while to fade.

A continuation in the alphabetical series for April, started here.

16 comments:

  1. That's such a moving post.
    Look forward to your challenge run…
    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  2. That's a beautiful picture, and I love the dory - it is a word I had heard before but always vaguely assumed was a sort of fish (!) oh well I'm a bit wiser now ! :D

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  3. I wonder if it is related to honky dory? Did I spell that correctly?

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  4. Grannymar, I think that it is hunky dory. Anyway, the dory or its counterparts are ubiquitous among the fisherfolk all over the world, be it maritime or for inland water fishing.

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  5. I do love the color of the dory and wonder how they came up with it? It seems like such a poetic color for auch a practical boat. xox

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  6. Do you think the colour is related to the name via the French d'or (of gold)or
    doré (same, I think)?

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  7. When I turned 21(long ago) I spent a summer building lapstraked dories at my friend's boat-building business on the Penobscot Bay in Maine. We built our boats from raw,unplaned cedar. The poem is wicked good!

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  8. Thank you Damyanti, quite a pace we're having!
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Jenny:
    Well, fish was close, they were used for fishing!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. GM:
    Well, honky is something else entirely. I see Ramana corrected you!
    But you are one honky woman!
    XO
    WWW

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  11. So there are dorys in India too, Ramana?
    or maybe boats just like ours?
    XO
    WWW

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  12. Irene:
    I'm thinking of painting my house in this colour, it is so warm. My dining room already has it in the upper half of the walls.
    XO
    WWW

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  13. "Origin unknown.Middle English dorre, from Old French doree, from feminine past participle of dorer, to gild, from Late Latin deaurāre : Latin dē-, de- + Latin aurum, gold."

    Well T, looks like you nailed it, this was the only origin reference I could find.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Marc:
    Then you have huge familiarity with the methodology, sounds like one lovely summer.
    Thanks for the kinds words.
    XO
    WWW

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  15. Yes. They are called by different names in different parts of the country. You must remember that we were a British colony!

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  16. Ramana:
    And speaking as another colonial, the British left their linguistic marks everywhere but both the Irish (galore, smithereens, et al) and the Indians (bungalow, cha, tiffin, et al) left theirs too!
    XO
    WWW

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