A thought on death. I can reconcile myself to believing in a time when I shall not make tea, listen to Bach, etc.., but scarcely to a time when no one will. I suppose this is why one wants an heir… it is a grateful response to all the things one has loved. ‘Here is someone to go on loving you’, one would hope to say.
excerpt from Sylvia Townsend Warner’s diary (26th Nov. 1928)
I’m enjoying reading the random thoughts and observations that so often flit through STW’s mind, and which she is able to so eloquently put into words in her diaries.
Here’s another example :
After they had gone, I planted 36 wallflowers, three ribes, two syringas and two forsythias in a hurricane. The sky was swept with inky blackness and frantic sunsets, and the wind blew the trowel out of my hand, and as fast as I patted earth down the rain washed it away. The height of the gale drove me indoors, but only to rush onto the balcony to bale out my window-box with a tea-cup. I worked into the dark with one unblown-out star sometimes looking on. When I came in, I suddenly realised what a debauch of emotion I had been having, and how I am changed. For when I was young I got my emotion from having things done to me… by art or by love or by eloquence, now, by doing things myself.
excerpt from STW’s diary (23rd Nov. 1928)
At the time when these entries were recorded, STW would have been staying at her London flat at 113, Inverness Terrace, a flat she had hunted down and bargained for earlier that year. She had started writing her diary in October 1927, after being given a handsome and expensive new notebook by her friend David Garnett.
This, is where I would imagine her putting down those inspirations and contemplations of hers, into words.