Treasure Island

Victoria Sackville-West

(1892 - 1962 / England)

Comments about Victoria Sackville-West

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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 (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.
    ________________________
    GARDENERS

    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
    ____________________

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!

I was a child, and I loved the knurly tangle
Of roots that coiled above a scarp like serpents,
Where I might hide my treasure with the squirrels.

I was a child, and splashed my way in laughter

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