Loren Eiseley, Star Thrower

"Man would not be man if his dreams did not exceed his grasp...

 If I remember the sunflower forest it is because from its hidden reaches man arose. The green world is his sacred center. In moments of sanity he must still seek refuge there..."
- Loren Eiseley, The Invisible Pyramid

When Loren Eiseley, the famous naturalist, was alive no one looked at him as a mystic but he was indeed mystical.

 He was born in 1907 in Nebraska. In 1910 a very young Loren watched the passage of Halley’s Comet with his father. That spectacle contributed to Eiseley's profound sense of time and space that is so inspiring.

Eiseley became one of the most widely read and highly regarded nature writers of the twentieth century. "There has never been another writer like him," wrote a reviewer for the Library of Science, "and there never will be".  His admirers and correspondents included the science fiction writer Ray Bradbury, the poet W.H. Auden, and the cultural critic Lewis Mumford.

Loren Corey Eiseley  - an evolutionary biologist, anthropologist, bone hunter, poet, teacher, historian, naturalist, philosopher, "the heir apparent to Henry David Thoreau" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) earned a B.S. at age 26 at the University of Nebraska after nearly a decade as a Depression era WPA worker and drifter.  

His friend Umland wrote,

"From the time he was a teenager his mother had been constantly after him to find part-time work but he would hole up in the City Library and read books instead of making an earnest search.

He read science fiction, the poets, the nature writers, ghost stories.

 Librarian Lula Horn said he had to be chased out of the stacks at closing time.  "

He was awarded a Ph.D. in anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, in 1937 when he was 30.
He became head of the Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, in 1947. Elected president of the American Institute of Human Paleontology in 1949.  The Immense Journey, his first book, was published by Random House in 1957.

He was awarded the John Burroughs Medal and the LeComte du Nouy Award in 1961 for The Firmament of Time.

Eiseley pondered the ethical issues of our age --how man might be a part of nature's world, and not an enemy of it. This gave his wirtings a certain urgency.  He explored inner and outer space and brought poetic insight to scientific discipline, connecting multiple universes, humankind, and nature.

His famous short story 'The Star Thrower' can be read here - The Metta Refuge. Highly recommended to all fellow travelers!


  1. The world is much more colorful and sacred with sunflowers in our life. I see that you love them too. Nice Great photos on your blog, will be back.

  2. I always enjoy checking out your photos, but I especially loved today's pics and the accompanying story as well.

  3. Thanks Janie and Tanyagrove - The Star Thrower is such a great story....I hope people click on the link Metta Refuge to read it...


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