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I've googled and looked it up in every dictionary I know, and I can find "lay" and I can find "lodge", but I can't seem to work out the meaning of the two words together.

The context is this poem by Robert Frost:

The rain to the wind said,
You push and I'll pelt.'
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged--though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.

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  • 1
    Lay lodged is not a set-phrase or idiom. The phrase means what the words individually stand for.
    – Kris
    Jan 27, 2013 at 7:36
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    As knelt is the past of kneel, here lay is the past of lie. They simply lay there where smitten, beaten down but not quite dead.
    – tchrist
    Jan 27, 2013 at 15:52

1 Answer 1

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Merriam Webster has this definition for lodged:

.3. to beat (as a crop) flat to the ground

And in the poem, this is exactly what happens to the flowers - the rain and the wind beat them until they lay down flat on the ground. They are not dead, just lodged.

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  • so "lay" as in "lie down"? Right. Of course. Thanks!
    – Born2Smile
    Jan 27, 2013 at 7:00
  • Yes. Compare with the second half of the conjunction, which can be expanded to "but not lay dead". "Lay dead" is a much more common expression and can be used to understand the construction. (See gog.is/lay+dead) Jan 27, 2013 at 7:20
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    The OED supports MW with ‘to throw down on the ground, lay flat. Now only of rain or wind: To beat down crops.’ Jan 27, 2013 at 8:58

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