Vita Sackville-West quotes

  • I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Love #Long Distance Relationship #Missing

  • The true solitary ... will feel that he is himself only when he is alone; when he is in company he will feel that he perjures himself, prostitutes himself to the exactions of others; he will feel that time spent in company is time lost; he will be conscious only of his impatience to get back to his true life.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Solitude #True Life #Impatience

  • Still, no gardener would be a gardener if he did not live in hope.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Gardening #Would Be #Gardener

  • Flowers really do intoxicate me.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Flower

  • The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Children #Twilight #Doors

  • There is nothing more lovely in life than the union of two people whose love for one another has grown through the years, from the small acorn of passion, into a great rooted tree
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Love #Marriage #Passion

  • When, and how, and at what stage of our development did spirituality and our strange notions of religion arise? the need for worship which is nothing more than our frightened refuge into propitiation of a Creator we do not understand? A detective story, the supreme Who-done-it, written in indecipherable hieroglyphics, no Rosetta stone supplied by the consummate Mystifier to tease us poor fumbling unravellers of his plot.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Stories #Done #Development

  • 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.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Optimistic #Garden #Done

  • It is dreadful how I miss you, and everything that everybody says seems flat and stupid.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Stupid #Missing #Flats

  • I have come to the conclusion, after many years of sometimes sad experience, that you cannot come to any conclusion at all.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Success #Years #Aging

  • 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.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Art #Clever #Love You

  • 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.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Life #Time #Butterfly

  • Summer makes a silence after spring.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Summer #Spring #Silence

  • It isn't that I don't like sweet disorder, but it has to be judiciously arranged.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Sweet #Design #Disorder

  • The more one gardens, the more one learns; And the more one learns, the more one realizes how little one knows.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Educational #Garden #Littles

  • Click, clack, click, clack, went their conversation, like so many knitting-needles, purl, plain, purl, plain, achieving a complex pattern of references, cross-references, Christian names, nicknames, and fleeting allusions.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Christian #Women #Names

  • It always seemed to me that the herbaceous peony is the very epitome of June. Larger than any rose, it has something of the cabbage rose's voluminous quality; and when it finally drops from the vase, it sheds its petticoats with a bump on the table, all in an intact heap, much as a rose will suddenly fall, making us look up from our book or conversation, to notice for one moment the death of what had still appeared to be a living beauty.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Summer #Book #Fall

  • A flowerless room is a soulless room, to my way of thinking; but even a solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Flower #Thinking #May

  • 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.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Block #Reflection #Mirrors

  • What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Beauty #Beautiful #Women

  • Gardening is a luxury occupation: an ornament, not a necessity, of life.... Fortunate gardener, who may preoccupy himself solely with beauty in these difficult and ugly days! He is one of the few people left in this distressful world to carry on the tradition of elegance and charm. A useless member of society, considered in terms of economics, he must not be denied his rightful place. He deserves to share it, however humbly, with the painter and poet.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Beauty #Luxury #People

  • There's no beginning to the farmer's year, / Only recurrent patterns on a scroll / Unwinding ...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Years #Patterns #Farming

  • I cannot bear that you / Should think me faithful, when I am untrue.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Thinking #Faithful #Infidelity

  • Tools have their own integrity ...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Integrity #Tools #Usefulness

  • I like owls. I admire their intransigent spirit. I have respected them deeply ever since I met a baby owl in a wood, when it fell over dead, apparently from sheer temper, because I dared to approach it. It defied me first, and then died. I have never forgotten the horror and shame I experienced when that soft fluffy thing (towards which I had nothing but the most humanitarian motives) fell dead from rage at my feet.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Baby #Feet #Owl

  • For bees are captious folk / And quick to turn against the lubber's touch ...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Bees #Folks #Turns

  • The farmer and the gardener are both busy, the gardener perhaps the more excitable of the two, for he is more of the amateur, concerned with the creation of beauty rather than with the providing of food. Gardening is a luxury occupation; an ornament, not a necessity, of life.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Two #Luxury #Gardening

  • But you, oh gardener, poet that you be / Though unaware, now use your seeds like words / And make them lilt with color nicely flung ...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Color #Gardening #Use

  • A good start in life is as important to plants as it is to children: they must develop strong roots in a congenial soil, otherwise they will never make the growth that will serve them richly according to their needs in their adult life.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Strong #Children #Roots

  • all the small squalors of the body, known only to oneself, insignificant in youth, easily dismissed, in old age became dominant and entered into fulfilment of the tyranny they had always threatened.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Age #Body #Youth

  • how poor and disheartening a thing is experience compared with hope!
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Experience #Poor #Disheartening

  • See the last orange roses, how they blow / Deeper and heavier than in their prime, / In one defiant flame before they go ...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Blow #Flames #Orange

  • I do not like January very much. It is too stationary. Not enough happens. I like the evidences of life, and in January there are too few of them.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #January #Enough #Evidence

  • a letter, by its arrival, defrauds us of a whole secret region of our existence, the only region indeed in which the true pleasure of life may be tasted, the region of imagination, creative and protean, the clouds and beautiful shapes of whose heaven are destroyed by the wind of reality.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Beautiful #Reality #Wind

  • There is something intrinsically wrong about letters. For one thing they are not instantaneous. ... Nor is this the only trouble about letters. They do not arrive often enough. A letter which has been passionately awaited should be immediately supplemented by another one, to counteract the feeling of flatness that comes upon us when the agonizing delights of anticipation have been replaced by the colder flood of fulfilment.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Feelings #Delight #Agonizing

  • however many resolutions one makes, one's pen, like water, always finds its own level, and one can't write in any way other than one's own.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Writing #Water #Levels

  • [On writing:] The most egotistic of occupations, and the most gratifying while it lasts.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Writing #Lasts #Occupation

  • Travel is in sad case. It is uncomfortable, it is expensive; it is a source of annoyance to our friends, and of loneliness to ourselves.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Travel #Loneliness #Cases

  • travel is a private pleasure, since it consists entirely of things felt and things seen ...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Travel #Pleasure

  • The wise traveler is he who is perpetually surprised.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Wise #Travel #Traveler

  • How subtle is the relationship between the traveler and his luggage! He knows, as no one else knows, its idiosyncrasies, its contents ... and always some small nuisance which he wishes he had not brought; had known, indeed, before starting that he would regret it, but brought it all the same.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Travel #Regret #Wish

  • that pathetic short-cut suggested by Nature the supreme joker as a remedy for our loneliness, that ephemeral communion which we persuade ourselves to be of the spirit when it is in fact only of the body - durable not even in memory!
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Sex #Memories #Loneliness

  • Prose is a poor thing, a poor inadequate thing, compared with poetry which says so much more in shorter time.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Poor #Prose #Inadequate

  • Violence, passion, indignation, loyalty, integrity, incorruptibility, shameless egoism, generosity, excitability, energy, a hundred horse-power drive - none of it very subtle: Ethel [Smyth] didn't deal in pastel shades, she went for the stronger colors, the blood-red, anything deep and pumping out of the arteries of the heart.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Loyalty #Horse #Integrity

  • The public, as a whole, finds reassurance in longevity, and, after the necessary interlude of reaction, is disposed to recognize extreme old age as a sign of excellence. The long-liver has triumphed over at least one of man's initial handicaps: the brevity of life.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Men #Long #Excellence

  • I cannot abide the Mr. and Mrs. Noah attitude towards marriage; the animals went in two by two, forever stuck together with glue.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Attitude #Animal #Two

  • For a young man to start his career with a love affair with an older woman was quite de rigueur ... Of course, it must not go on for too long. An apprenticeship was a very different thing from a career.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Men #Careers #Long

  • Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Growth #Exciting

  • The writer catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Soul #Mind #Growth

  • 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?
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Writing #Butterfly #Moments

  • Women, like men, ought to have their years so glutted with freedom that they hate the very idea of freedom.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Freedom #Hate #Men

  • My garden all is overblown with roses,/ My spirit all is overblown with rhyme,
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Garden #Rose #Spirit

  • For the last 40 years of my life I have broken my back, my fingernails, and sometimes my heart, in the practical pursuit of my favourite occupation.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Heart #Years #Broken

  • Is it better to be extremely ambitious, or rather modest? Probably the latter is safer; but I hate safety, and would rather fail gloriously than dingily succeed.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Hate #Safety #Ambitious

  • 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.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Life #Country #Determination

  • To hope for Paradise is to live in Paradise, a very different thing from actually getting there.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Hope #Paradise #Different

  • Things were not tragic for us then, because although we cared passionately we didn't care deeply.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Compassion #Generosity #Care

  • Everywhere bees go racing with the hours, / For every bee becomes a drunken lover, / Standing upon his head to sup the flowers.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Flower #Racing #Bees

  • I loved you when love was Spring, and May, Loved you when summer deepened into June, and now when autumn yellows all the leaves...
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Love #Summer #Spring

  • Ambition, old as mankind, the immemorial weakness of the strong.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Strong #Ambition #Self Control

  • April, the angel of the months, the young love of the year.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Angel #Years #Young Love

  • Autumn in felted slipper shuffles on, Muted yet fiery.--Vita Sackville-West
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Autumn #West #Slippers

  • I worshipped dead men for their strength, Forgetting I was strong.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Strength #Strong #Men

  • Travel is the most private of pleasures. There is no greater bore than the travel bore. We do not in the least want to hear what he has seen in Hong-Kong.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Travel #Want #Hong Kong

  • It is no good my telling you. One never believes other people's experiencem and one is only very gradually convinced by one's own.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Believe #People

  • 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.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Garden #Artist #Lines

  • It is a sad moment when the first phlox appears. It is the amber light indicating the end of the great burst of early summer and suggesting that we must now start looking forward to autumn. Not that I have any objection to autumn as a season, full of its own beauty; but I just cannot bear to see another summer go, and I recoil from what the first hint of autumn means.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Summer #Mean #Autumn

  • Forget not bees in winter, though they sleep.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Sleep #Winter #Bees

  • Nothing shows up the difference between the things said or read, so much as the daily experience of it.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Differences #Said #Shows

  • A man and his tools make a man and his trade.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Men #Tools #Trade

  • Among the many problems which beset the novelist, not the least weighty is the choice of the moment at which to begin his novel.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Choices #Novelists #Problem

  • There is always something else to do. A gardener should have nine times as many lives as a cat.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Cat #Gardening #Nine

  • Successful gardening is not necessarily a question of wealth, it is a question of love, taste, and knowledge.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Successful #Gardening #Taste

  • I like muddling things up; and if a herb looks nice in a border, then why not grow it there? Why not grow anything anywhere so long as it looks right where it is? That is, surely, the art of gardening.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Art #Nice #Long

  • I suppose the pleasure of country life lies really in the eternally renewed evidences of the determination to live.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Country #Determination #Lying

  • Not seeing is half-believing.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Inspirational #Believe #Half

  • The Saluki is a marvel of elegance.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Dog #Elegance

  • Serenity of spirit and turbulence of action should make up the sum of a man's life.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Inspirational #Funny #Life

  • There are no signposts in the sea.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Sea #Choices #Signposts

  • All craftsmen share a knowledge. They have heldReality down fluttering to a bench.
    -- Vita Sackville-West

    #Benches #Share #Fluttering