Brown Wasps

The form and style of Loren Eiseley’s essay “The Brown Wasps”, which I just read, were as provocative to me as the emotions that it invoked. I’ve been told that in beginning to write it is acceptable to model one’s own style after some admired works. This one should likely be on my list.

The essay is about much more than simple nostalgia; she was right to never use the word. I was frustrated at having to scroll past the dozens of surely poorly written student analyses when searching for the full text online. Since the search was fruitless I cannot include a link for you, but I can tell that I read it in the essay collection by Joyce Carol Oates. And since I’m discouraged by all the amateur commentary, I will refrain from providing my own.

As an aside, I wonder if Eiseley’s essay was the inspiration for Dave Matthews’ song “The Dreaming Tree,” which struck many of the same notes when I first heard it in high school.


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