Thursday, June 22, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Vita Sackville-West (1892 – 1962)


Most famous as Vita Sackville-West, was an English poet, novelist and writer on gardening.
Vita Sackville-West
And what have I to give my friends in the last resort?
An awkwardness, a shyness, and a scrap,
No thing that's truly me, a bootless waste,
A waste of myself and them, for my life is mine
And theirs presumably theirs, and cannot touch.
Sackville-West quotes
The greater cats with golden eyes
Stare out between the bars.
Deserts are there, and the different skies,
And night with different stars.
They prowl the aromatic hill,
And mate as fiercely as they kill,
To roam, to live, to drink their fill;
But this beyond their wit know I:
Man loves a little, and for long shall die.
Sackville-West
Forget not bees in winter, though they sleep.




Sackville-West Vita quotes
While many a lovely ship below sailed by
On unknown errand, kempt and leisurely;
And after each, oh, after each, my heart
Fled forth, as, watching from the Downs apart,
I shared with ships good joys and fortunes wide
That might befall their beauty and their pride…
Sackville-West Vita
Who could so watch, and not forget the rack
Of wills worn thin and thought become too frail,
Nor roll the centuries back —
And feel the sinews of his soul grow hale,
And know himself for Rome's inheritor?
Vita Sackville-West quotes
The country habit has me by the heart,
For he's bewitched for ever who has seen,
Not with his eyes but with his vision, Spring
Flow down the woods and stipple leaves with sun,
As each man knows the life that fits him best,
The shape it makes in his soul, the tune, the tone,
And after ranging on a tentative flight
Stoops like the merlin to the constant lure.
Vita Sackville-West
I sing the cycle of my country's year,
I sing the tillage, and the reaping sing,
Classic monotony, that modes and wars
Leave undisturbed, unbettered, for their best
Was born immediate, of expediency.
Sackville-West Vita quotes
Suppose Orlando turns out to be about Vita; and its all about you and the lusts of your flesh and the lure of your mind (heart you have none, who go gallivanting down the lanes with Campbell) — suppose there's the kind of shimmer of reality which sometimes attaches to my people, as the lustre on an oyster shell (and that recalls another Mary) suppose, I say, that Sibyl next October says "There's Virginia gone and written a book about Vita" ... Shall you mind?
Sackville-West
A man and his land make a man and his creed.
Sackville-West Vita
Her appearance was indeed remarkable — strange almost beyond the reach of adjectives … She resembled a puissant blend of both sexes — Lady Chatterley and her lover rolled into one.
Vita Sackville-West
You took me weak and unprepared.
I had not thought that you who shared
My days, my nights, my heart, my life,
Would slash me with a naked knife
And gently tell me not to bleed
But to accept your crazy creed.




Vita Sackville-West quotes
It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan't make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this — But oh my dear, I can't be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don't love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don't really resent it.
Vita Sackville-West
Darling, I thought of nothing mean;
I thought of killing straight and clean.
You're safe; that's gone, that wild caprice,
But tell me once before I cease,
Which does your Church esteem the kinder role,
To kill the body or destroy the soul?
Sackville-West quotes
She walks among the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water—
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter.
Sackville-West Vita
And so it ends,
We who were lovers may be friends.
I have some weeks in which to steel
My heart and teach myself to feel
Only a sober tenderness
Where once was passion's loveliness.
Sackville-West Vita quotes
Yes, they were kind exceedingly; most mild
Even in indignation, taking by the hand
One that obeyed them mutely, as a child
Submissive to a law he does not understand.
Vita Sackville-West
A man and his tools make a man and his trade.
Vita Sackville-West quotes
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind; how the observation of last year seems childish, superficial; how this year — even this week — even with this new phrase — it seems to us that we have grown to a new maturity. It may be a fallacious persuasion, but at least it is stimulating, and so long as it persists, one does not stagnate.
I look back as through a telescope, and see, in the little bright circle of the glass, moving flocks and ruined cities.
Vita Sackville-West
All craftsmen share a knowledge. They have held
Reality down fluttering to a bench.
Sackville-West Vita
I have come to the conclusion, after many years of sometimes sad experience, that you cannot come to any conclusion at all.


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