Poles are apparently only for working on the river with a cargo or for thumping!
• 1.066 Pound them up with a thumping pole;
• 9.019 and poled or rowed up the stream;
• 9.062 They quickly poled
• 9.065 There was a mighty pushing of poles.
• 9.068 where other elves stood to fend them off with poles,
All of which brings to mind the finest reference to poles in all of literature:
‘Evenin’,’ it said. ‘Dis is a bit embarrassin’. You know a pole?’Terry Pratchett – Carpe Jugulum
‘Pole?’ said Igor suspiciously.
‘It are a long wooden fing-‘
‘Yeth? Well? What about it?’
‘I’d like you to imagine, right, dat dere’s a black an’ yellow striped one across dis road, right? Only ‘cos we’ve only got der one, an’ it’s bein’ used up on der Copperhead road tonight.’