“I stand for motherhood, America, and a hot lunch for orphans…”

Here in the U.S., Fourth of July weekend is winding quietly down. While we groan over leftovers, sweep up carbonized fuses, and sew our blown-off fingers back on, here’s a sparkling assortment of links at once literary and linguistic, poetic and pontificatory, academic and amateur, medievalist and modern. Light ’em up and enjoy.

As a Linguist wonders where common nautical terms come from and ponders the literal meaning of freedom at Normandy Beach.

At University Diaries, Margaret Soltan marked Independence Day by discussing her Righthaven lawsuit.

At the always-eloquent Hats & Rabbits, Chris rides a roller coaster arabesque.

The Cranky Professor shows you how the Transformers are helping renovate the duomo in Milan.

Open Letters Monthly finds a secret magic library in New York.

The Washington Independent Review interviews “Professor X,” author of In the Basement of the Ivory Tower.

Monstrous Beauty spotlights a reliquary for St. Thomas Becket.

My fantasy-writing friend Anna Tambour charts a parrot confidence course.

Classical Bookworm discovers a forgotten Hungarian polyglot. Sixteen languages?

At A Momentary Taste, Stephen is in summer-reading mode with Gil’s All Fright Diner.

Prof Mondo reads Gardner’s On Moral Fiction in light of young-adult lit.

First Known When Lost reads Edwin Muir’s poem “The Interrogation” and thinks things got good when Philip Larkin looked into Thomas Hardy.

The New York Times tells Gothamites: Read Cavafy!

“I can’t see you, but I know you’re here”: Ephemeral New York finds the sad cemetery angels of Brooklyn.

He’s not really “the last of the rhyming poets,” but here’s a nice profile of Richard Wilbur.

Some say Jack Kent was the best cartoonist and children’s book illustrator you’ve forgotten.

I love the sonnets of Edna St. Vincent Millay, but the fellow who loved Millay herself wrote poems worth reading as well.

Fly, my pixelated minion! In the 1980s, who among the Colecovision set didn’t long to master “George Plimpton’s Video Falconry”?

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