On The Desolate Beauty of George R. Stewart’s Earth Abides
This gardening season the GC team will be sharing a series of our favorite floral poetry to honor the more ethereal qualities of spring and summer. This week, we feature a pick from GC Staff Writer Nora Rose Mueller, who chose a passage from the 1949 classic Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart. The book takes place in an alternate reality in which humankind has been wiped out by disease. One survivor makes his way across a world without civilization, where nature once again reigns.
“As with the dogs and cats, so also with the grasses and flowers which man had long nourished. The clover and the blue-grass withered on the lawns, and the dandelions grew tall. In the flowerbed the water-loving asters wilted and drooped, and the weeds flourished. Deep within the camelias, the sap failed; they would bear no buds next spring. The leaves curled on the tips of the wisteria vines and the rose bushes, as they set themselves against the long drought. Foot by foot the wild cucumbers quickly sent their long vines across lawn and flowerbed and terrace. As once, when the armies of the empire were shattered and the strong barbarians poured in upon the the soft provincials, so now the fierce weeds pressed in to destroy the pampered nursling of man.”