Bluets by Maggie Nelson

Celebrate National Blueberry Muffin Day with this Gorgeous Ode to Blue

In case you didn’t know, today, July 11th, is National Blueberry Muffin Day. Yes, weirdly specific and super unnecessary, but fun and quirky all the same! The entire month of July is National Blueberry Month, so it makes sense to commemorate this delightful baked good with it’s own special day in July. You can celebrate by baking up some blueberry muffins, sparking up a blueberry-scented candle, or, in a more general sense, just honoring the color blue. How does one honor the color blue? I’m glad you asked. 


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Possibly one of the best-known celebrations of blue is Bluets by Maggie Nelson, a sort of poetry-prose hybrid focusing on all things blue. Throughout the book, Nelson explores her self-proclaimed love of blue and her recent breakup with a man she refers to as ‘the prince of blue.’ Reading the book will give you a heightened awareness and love the color, as well as educate you on the history and culture of blue. Here are a few of my favorite snippets from Bluets, just to give you a taste:


1. “The half-circle of blinding turquoise ocean is this love’s primal scene. That this blue exists makes my life a remarkable one, just to have seen it. To have seen such beautiful things.”


Ocean water

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2. “Does the world look bluer from blue eyes? Probably not, but I choose to think so.”


Blue eyes

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3. “Not only does the bowerbird collect and arrange blue objects—bus tickets, cicada wings, blue flowers, bottle caps, blue feathers plucked off smaller blue birds that he kills, if he must, to get their plumage— but he also paints his bower with juices from blue fruits, using the frayed end of a twig as a paintbrush.”


Blue bird flying

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4. “There are no instruments for measuring color; there are no “color thermometers.” How could there be, as “color knowledge” always remains contingent upon an individual perceiver? This didn’t stop a certain Horace Benedict de Saussure, however, from inventing, in 1789, a device he called the “cyanometer,” with which he hoped to measure the blue of the sky.”


Blue sky

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5. “The part I do remember: that the blue of the sky depends on the darkness of empty space behind it. As one optics journal puts it, “The color of any planetary atmosphere viewed against the black of space and illuminated by a sunlike star will also be blue.” In which case blue is something of an ecstatic accident produced by void and fire.” 



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