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Word Museum - Bivouac
Transcript of Word Museum - Bivouac
v. to set up a temporary encampment often in an unsheltered area.
(Usually used in a military sense.) Origin: early 18th century (denoting a night watch by the whole army): from French, probably from Swiss German Bîwacht 'additional guard at night', apparently denoting a citizens' patrol supporting the ordinary town watch. Sentence used in book: At four-thirty in the morning, they were descending a glacier where they had bivouacked for the night after summiting, when Mortenson tripped, did a complete forward flip, then started sliding down the steep slope. Relation to the story: Mountaineers are usually required to bivouac in the mountains or valleys where they travel, before they return home where they can sleep in a permanent shelter or home. Greg is a mountaineer, and had to bivouac many times during his expeditions. He may have also bivouacked during his trips to Pakistan to set up schools. a bivouac in the Atlas Mountains a bivouac in the Sahara I SEE before me now, a traveling army halting;
Below, a fertile valley spread, with barns, and the orchards of summer;
Behind, the terraced sides of a mountain, abrupt in places, rising high;
Broken, with rocks, with clinging cedars, with tall shapes, dingily seen;
The numerous camp-fires scatter’d near and far, some away up on the mountain;
The shadowy forms of men and horses, looming, large-sized flickering;
And over all, the sky—the sky! far, far out of reach, studded, breaking out, the eternal stars. Bivouac on a Mountain Side by Walt Whitman Poem's relation to Bivouac:
The poem describes a scene viewed from bivouacs, with vivid imagery and figurative language. Knowing where bivouacs are normally placed helps you understand the meaning of the word better. Interview: Most of the people I interviewed could not identify or use the word without hearing the definition first. But, of the people that did know the meaning, they used it in a military sense: "When the army is on patrol in Afghanistan, they have to bivouac because there are no military bases. Bibliography -
Picture in the Alps: http://www.les-pistes-du-sud.nl/periples.html
Picture in the Sahara: http://saharatours.webs.com/whoweare.htm