Translated from the French with an Introduction by Dawn Cornelio, A Matter of Blue has gone through multiple French printings and is noted poet, essayist, and critic Jean-Michel Maulpoix’s most publicly and critically-acclaimed book. Throughout the collection, prose poems and blank verse operate on a recognizable, accessible level, offering a narrative voice struggling for understanding in a postmodern, sometimes desolate world. In A Matter of Blue, Jean-Michel Maulpoix uses the color blue to encompass melancholy and nostalgia, but also the joy and hope inherent in life.
Dark-eyed women have a blue gaze.
Blue is the color of looking, of the inside of the soul and of thought, of waiting, dreaming and sleep.
We enjoy blending all the colors into one. From the wind, the sea, the snow, the very soft pink of skin, the red of laughing lips, insomnia's white rings around the green of the eyes, and the flaking, faded guilding of leaves, we manufacture blue.
We dream of a blue land, of round-colored land, new as the first day, and curved as a woman’s body.
We become accustomed to not seeing infinity clearly, and are patient on the edge of the invisible. We convert the discordance of our life into music. This blue that envelopes our heart delivers us from our lameness. In times of sorrow, we spread it like salve on our finitude. This is why we love the sound of the cello and summer evenings: what rocks us and puts us to sleep. When the day comes, the illusion of love will close our eyes.
“Even if the gods’ presence can no longer be taken for granted, blue still remains to accompany us in our daily lives, although it may suffer from fatigue and be unsure of its own strength.” —Dawn Cornelio, from the translator’s Introduction