Sinclair Lewis’ Perfect Duluth Day

Excerpt of a letter from Sinclair Lewis to Marcella Powers, included in the book Minnesota Diaries:

What a day — the first in Duluth this year completely of the type known to meteorologists as a p.d., or “absolutely perfect day” — cool, the air sweet, sky ringing blue except for lovely lazy clouds, as idyllic and indolent as a Grecian glade, yet full of energy for people from Chicago … the lake a mirror of many kinds of blue and gray glass, some sleek, some delicately wrinkled …

I don’t know any place, not even New England, that has quite such perfect days — and if one did come there, I think it would be the end of May, not end of June … This is a Minnesota day, to be extremely scientific; in the southern part of the state, we suffer the horrors of the tropics; up here, we go about with icicles on our red beards; but after such torments, we are all rewarded and made singularly blessed by such a day as this.

Sinclair Lewis, of course, is the Nobel Prize winning novelist, short-story writer and playwright who lived at 2601 E. Second St. in Duluth during the early 1940s.


cecile richardson

about 3 years ago

Are you named after this? I came across your website years ago pre Facebook and I had an immediate connection/recognition. I knew exacly what a perfect Duluth day was even though I left the town as a child many years ago.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

No, the brain trust at Perfect Duluth Day was oblivious to this quote until now. The phrase "Perfect Duluth Day" was a minor catch phrase when the website was launched in 2003.

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