maunder, encyclical, oriflamme, patois, ataraxia

Occasionally, I post new-to-me words discovered during my reading rambles. I do this for my edification. If you happened to stumble across this post and you're a word nerd, you might enjoy these as well. Following each word is a short definition (sometimes with a thought interjected parenthetically), trailed by the context in which the word was found. 

maunder: wander aimlessly | “So much between the self and others is maunder and mumble.” - from the poem “Bird: A Memoir,” Erotikon, Susan Mitchell

encyclical: a letter from the pope sent to all Roman Catholic bishops throughout the world (intended for wide distribution) | “Thus began my Erotikon - thus, my book of books, round-robin encyclical.” - from the poem “Bird: A Memoir,” Erotikon, Susan Mitchell

oriflame: an inspiring symbol or idea that serves as a rallying point in a struggle; a red or orange-red flag used as a standard by early French kings. | “On holidays, oriflame and banderole. Spills of ribbon.” - from the poem “Bird: A Memoir,” Erotikon, Susan Mitchell

patois: a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves) | “What in this wide hugey plain of language is not mine to spit and spew? What sounds me through bars of patois, creoles of my past and future lives?” - from the poem “Bird: A Memoir,” Erotikon, Susan Mitchell | “... and he spoke a patois of English, Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish, sometimes reserving particular languages for specific friends or acquaintances, and on other occasions, blending the languages in a most singular manner.” - The House of Twenty Thousand Books, Sasha Abramsky

ataraxia: peace of mind | “One begins to go about with the sluggish step of a philosopher or a clochard, as more and more vital gestures become reduced to mere instincts of preservation, to a conscience more alert not to be deceived than to grasp truth. Lay quietism, moderate ataraxia, attent lack of attention.” - Hopscotch, Julio Cortázar | But his embracing of hedonism has led to the mistaken conviction that he was a gourmet and a gourmand, in thrall to the sensual pleasures of excessive eating and drinking. Actually, he was neither. The Epicurean life was a life of ataraxia - tranquility.” - The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, Natalie Haynes