Vita Sackville-West

Literary Birthday – 9 March – Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West was born 9 March 1892, and died 2 June 1962.


  1. Prose is a poor thing, a poor inadequate thing, compared with poetry which says so much more in shorter time.
  2. 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.
  3. Among the many problems which beset the novelist, not the least weighty is the choice of the moment at which to begin his novel.
  4. I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal.
  5. I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. 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.
  6. Still, no gardener would be a gardener if he did not live in hope.
  7. All craftsmen share a knowledge. They have held Reality down fluttering to a bench.

Vita Sackville-West was an English author, poet, and gardener. She won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927 and 1933. She published 12 volumes of poetry and 17 novels. Her works include All Passion Spent and The Edwardians. She was known for her exuberant aristocratic life, her passionate lesbian love affairs, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson, created at their estate.

Source for image: DHRUVA SRINIVAS, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Amanda Patterson by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th March 2013