Trio

Vita Sackville-West, English poet, novelist and writer on gardening, was born on 9 March 1892
She was also famous for her intense relationship and ever-lasting friendship with Virginia Woolf.

Trio
So well she knew them both! yet as she came
Into the room, and heard their speech
Of tragic meshes knotted with her name,
And saw them, foes, but meeting each with each
Closer than friends, souls bared through enmity,
Beneath their startled gaze she thought that she
Broke as the stranger on their conference,
And stole abashed from thence

If the two people the speaker interrupts have no sentimental bond with her, the central theme of the poem is backbiting, gossiping, which can unite two people even if they don’t like each other.

But, more probably, those two people have some sort of love affair with her, therefore the poem is about jealousy. They are lovers talking animatedly about her and they are really hostile to each other. Nevertheless, their closeness in the discussion makes them appear almost friends, bound by a shared attitude. Their failure to contain their jealousy creates a sort of unintentional intimacy.
Unable to deal with their feelings, the woman’s only option is to leave quickly.

Trio
Li conosceva entrambi così bene! eppure quando entrò
nella stanza e udì le loro parole
nelle cui tragiche maglie era intrappolato il suo nome,
e li vide, loro, nemici, tanto vicini
da apparire amici, sebbene smentiti dalla reciproca avversione,
sotto il loro sguardo sbalordito pensò che, come un’estranea,
aveva interrotto il loro incontro,
e confusa sgattaiolò via.
(L.Z.)

image: Wikimedia Commons, Studio portrait presented by Esther Cloudman Dunn to the Smith College Library. 1926

34 thoughts on “Trio

  1. This may have described an incident or more than one of her passionate relationship with Violet Keppel with whom she had a lesbian pact which was not, in the end, sustainable because they were both married.

    She and her husband left an English paradise, Luisa, Sissinghurst, a garden which is one of the institutions of their marriage, difficult as that marriage would have been without the loving courtesies of certain British to each other!

    Thanks for this lovely snippet. Sarah

    Liked by 5 people

  2. LUISA, I APPRECIATE YOUR FINE POST ON VITA SACKVILLE WEST.👭 I REMEMBER THOSE LOVELY DAYS IN 1972 WALKING TO MY FAVORITE PLACE , THE BEAUTIFUL LIBRARY IT WAS JUST ABOUT 25 FEET AWAY FROM OUR APARTMENT, WE HAD A GORGEOUS 180 YR. OLD BROWN STONE MANSION AT THE TIME SO IT FELT LIKE ENTERING VITA S. TIME . AT 5HE LIBRARY I TOOK SOME BOOKS OUT ON HER ,FASCINATING WOMAN & THE HUSBAND TOO THEY HAD TWO SONS TOGETHER 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

    Liked by 2 people

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