Vita Sackville-West, fully The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson

Vita
Sackville-West, fully The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson
1892
1962

English Novelist, Author, Poet and Gardener, Awarded Hawthornden Prize

Author Quotes

And what have I to give my friends in the last resort? An awkwardness, a shyness, and a scrap.

I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal.

Man loves a little, and for long shall die.

The fount of joy was bubbling in thine eyes, dancing was in thy feet, and on thy lips a laugh that never dies, unutterably sweet. Dance on! forever young, forever fair, lightfooted as a frightened bounding deer, thy wreath of vine-leaves twisted in thy hair, through all the changing seasons of the year...

What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful.

Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt

I saw within the wheelwright’s shed the big round cartwheels, blue and red; a plough with blunted share; a blue tin jug; a broken chair; and paint in trial patchwork square slapping up against the wall; the lumber of the wheelwright’s trade, and tools on benches neatly laid, the brace, the adze, the awl.

Men of my age live in a state of continual desperation.

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:

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.

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?

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

My heart and teach myself to feel only a sober tenderness where once was passion's loveliness.

The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world.

Who could so watch, and not forget the rack off 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?

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.

I suppose the pleasure of country life lies really in the eternally renewed evidences of the determination to live.

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.

The more one gardens, the more one learns; And the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.

Why should a poet pray thus? poets scorn the boundaried love of country, being free of winds, and alien lands, and distances, Vagabonds of the compass, wayfarers, pilgrims of thought, the tongues of Pentecost their privilege, and in the peddler's pack the curious treasures of their stock-in-trade, bossy and singular, the heritage of poetry and science, polished bright, thin with the rubbing of too many hands; myth, glamour, hazard, fables dim as age, faith, doubt, perplexity, grief, hope, despair, wings, and great waters, and Promethean fire, man's hand to clasp, and Helen's mouth to kiss. Why then in little meadows hedge about a poet's pasture? shed a poet's cloak for fustian? cede a birthright, thus to map

Every garden-maker should be an artist along his own lines. That is the only possible way to create a garden, irrespective of size or wealth.

I suppose the pleasure of the country life lies really in the eternally renewed evidences of the determination to live. That is a truism when said, but anything but a truism when daily observed. Nothing shows up the difference between the thing said or read, so much as the daily experience of it.

Not seeing is half-believing.

The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.

Within the people I love, I always seem to detect something obstinate, almost up to the cruelty. A kind of core, a flame absolute rigor, a bit like they were determined to be faithful no matter what their commitments.

Author Picture
First Name
Vita
Last Name
Sackville-West, fully The Hon Victoria Mary Sackville-West, Lady Nicolson
Birth Date
1892
Death Date
1962
Bio

English Novelist, Author, Poet and Gardener, Awarded Hawthornden Prize