Victoria Sackville-West

(1892 - 1962 / England)

Victoria Sackville-West
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English poet and novelist, born into an old aristocratic family, proprietors of Knole House in Kent. Vita Sackville-West wrote about the Kentish countryside and she was the chief model for Orlando in Virginia Woolf's novel of that same title from 1928. Sackville-West's best known poem, THE LAND, was awarded the Hawthorne Prize in 1927.

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,


Flow down the woods and stipple leaves

with sun.

('Winter' from The Land)

Victoria Mary Sackville-West was the only child of Lionel Edward, ... more »

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  • Sylvia Frances Chan Sylvia Frances Chan(2/2/2018 6:14:00 PM)

    Aside from that all, Ron Price, you cannot compare your male life with that of a female's.You have no list of duties really to be done as demanded by society. The society you live in, let you free wherever you wish to go.That is entirely different than whenever you must constantly.So many people love gardening, each his own style.

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  • Kumud Dash(3/18/2014 12:23:00 AM)

    Like the poem very much-it is not necessary to be gardener of the same garden to enjoy the beauty of a garden-to lie the life together.

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  • Ron Price Ron Price(1/11/2008 11:52:00 PM)

    A prose-poem written in praise of Vita Sackville-West and in appreciation for her inspiration as a pioneer.

    Just three months before my own pioneering life began in August 1962 on the homefront in the Canadian Baha’i community, Vita Sackville-West passed away. A pioneer herself, in quite a different sense of course than my own pioneering experience, she was born just months before the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, in 1892.

    In many ways her pioneering life was a polar-opposite, certainly a strikingly different one, to my own adventure across two continents. Her first love affair was with a house, then a husband, then several lesbian relationships, one of which was with the famous writer Virginia Woolf and, finally, with a garden at Sissinghurst Castle in rural Kent. My love affairs were with baseball, then the Baha’i Faith and finally with an assortment of people and things: Judy Gower and Christine Sheldrick in two marriages, a long career in teaching and, finally, with learning and the cultural attainments of the mind. In this last category, especially writing and especially poetry, Vita Sackville-West and I shared an equal love and passion.-Ron Price, Pioneering Over Four Epochs,11 January 2008 with thanks to ABC TV: “National Trust: Garden Treasures, ” 10 Jan.2008,6: 00-7: 00 p.m.

    I never shared your love of gardening,
    Vita, nor your ardent Latin temperament.
    My garden was always one of words like
    yours tended tenderly and now famously
    famous. My temperament was Welsh—
    English, coloured by a bipolar disorder.
    We both ran against convention’s grain,
    possessed an exuberance, complexity of
    character, a strong marriage and wrote
    endless reams of poetry over many years.

    In the process we both produced a rich
    and varied body of work amidst life’s
    turmoil but, in the end, whatever we did
    and whatever we were-first and foremost
    we were poets—wouldn’t you say, Vita?

    I must say, though, Vita, you were in
    the major league of writers while I was
    but a minor player with a minor role, in
    a minor key. Time will tell, of course,
    eh Vita? What do you think Vita from
    your place now in the land of lights
    where gardens of endless splendour
    adorn your days, I trust, Vita, I trust.

    You changed the face of gardening1
    while I spread the seeds of a new Order
    that would, in time, change the face of
    this earth, containing as these seeds did
    the fruits and blossoms of consecrated joy
    and enable their gardeners to labor serenely,
    confidently and unremittently, as you did in
    your garden, to produce a Place of exquisite
    and most delightful beauty for the millions.

    1 Victoria Glendinning, Vita; the Life of V. Sackville-West, Weidenfeld & Nicholson,1983.

    Ron Price
    11 January 2008

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Best Poem of Victoria Sackville-West

Days I Enjoy

Days I enjoy are days when nothing happens,
When I have no engagements written on my block,
When no one comes to disturb my inward peace,
When no one comes to take me away from myself
And turn me into a patchwork, a jig-saw puzzle,
A broken mirror that once gave a whole reflection,
Being so contrived that it takes too long a time
To get myself back to myself when they have gone.
The years are too strickly measured, and life too short
For me to afford such bits of myself to my friends.
And what have I to give my friends in the last resort?
An ...

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