To V.W.

It comes to me in the form of a pamphlet put out by The National Trust in 1972 with a lovely frontispiece photograph of the author by Cecil Beaton. In it she holds a garden implement and a cigarette holder with a German shepherd looking on. The photograph is dated 1958 and was given to the National Portrait Gallery by Sir Cecil himself in 1969.

She is of course Vita Sackville-West. And the pamphlet in question reproduces a poem first published by the Hogarth Press in 1931. The poem is called “Sissinghurst” and is dedicated to Virginia Woolf.

It opens

A tired swimmer in the waves of time
I throw my hands up: let the surface close:
Sink down through centuries to another clime,
And buried find the castle and the rose.
Time travel by near drowning.

And so for day 1447

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