Posted by: greentangle | November 12, 2009

Today’s Quote: A Beautiful Ruin

OK, so I’m very frustrated by limited computer time, the poor quality of the library computers, and my resulting inability to offer the type of writing I most like to do here. But perhaps an occasional short quote or note.

“I do not fear our extinction. What I really fear is that man will ruin the planet before he departs. I have sometimes thought, looking out over the towers of New York from some high place, what a beautiful ruin it would make in heaps of fallen masonry, with the forest coming back.”

Loren Eiseley, letter to Hal Borland, The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley.



  1. You've been nominated for an Honest Scrap Award…you can read about it (if you're not already familiar with it–I wasn't!) at

    Best regards–

    Carol Flaig

  2. The letter is undated here but Mr. Eiseley passed in 1977. How could he have known?

  3. If I still had my own place and computer, I'd probably have some fun with that award, but under the circumstances, I must decline. But as they say, it's a great honor to be nominated. And what a great nomination! — I'll share it for those who don't go to the URL.

    “Greentangle What a great quote he uses in his header….I stumbled upon this blog and was compelled to read just because of that quote. I was happy to find that the rest of his blog is just as interesting. His picture reminds me a bit of Edward Abbey, which also makes me like him. I must remember to list in my ten revelations that I am impossibly shallow.”

  4. I admired Loren Eisely for decades and think he is perhaps one of the best writers of the 20th century. At the end he was terribly depressed and held little hope and much anger for humanity.

    His understanding of human history (he was a paleontologist), the natural world, and the universe gave him a unique view of the planet (especially at that time).

    I suggest to all that you read the “Invisible Pyramid” if you want a good flavor of his writing.

    Nice post, especially for not having the best facilities. Thank you.


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