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
('Winter' from The Land)
Victoria Mary Sackville-West was the only child of Lionel Edward, ... more »
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Victoria Sackville-West Poems
And so it ends
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
Cisterns and stones; the fig-tree in the wall Casts down her shadow, ashen as her boughs, Across the road, across the thick white dust. Down from the hill the slow white oxen crawl,
A Saxon Song
Tools with the comely names, Mattock and scythe and spade, Couth and bitter as flames, Clean, and bowed in the blade,-
The Greater Cats
The greater cats with golden eyes Stare out between the bars. Deserts are there, and the different skies, And night with different stars.
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
Leopards at Knole
Leopards on the gable-ends, Leopards on the painted stair, Stiff the blazoned shield they bear, Or and gules, a bend of vair,
She was wearing the coral taffeta trousers Someone had brought her from Ispahan, And the little gold coat with pomegranate blossoms,
What time the meanest brick and stone Take on a beauty not their own, And past the flaw of builded wood Shines the intention whole and good,
Beechwoods at Knole
How do I love you, beech-trees, in the autumn, Your stone-grey columns a cathedral nave Processional above the earth's brown glory!
When little lights in little ports come out, Quivering down through water with the stars, And all the fishing fleet of slender spars
If I had only loved your flesh And careless damned your soul to Hell, I might have laughed and loved afresh,
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;
So well she knew them both! yet as she came Into the room, and heard their speech Of tragic meshes knotted with her name,
I have known honey from the Syrian hills Stored in cool jars; the wild acacia there On the rough terrace where the locust shrills
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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And so it ends
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.
I had not thought that there would come
Your touch to make our music dumb,
Your meeting touch upon the string
That still was vibrant, still could sing
When I impatiently might wait
Or parted from you at the gate.
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