The Language of Flowers
Radio 4; March 2002
Producers: Rosie Boulton and Peter Leslie Wild
Christopher Smart was once the most famous man in London – a celebrated poet and a key figure in 18th Century English society. Barely a few years later, he was incarcerated in an asylum for ‘praying too fervently in public’. But languishing there he composed two of the most extraordinary poems in the English language, the chaotic and charismatic Jubilate Agno, and the haunting, elegiac Song to David. Tim’s play explores themes of madness, genius and social acceptability through the story of Smart’s incarceration and eventual rescue, with the help of the daughter of a close friend.
Starring Simon Chandler, Christian Rodka and Cathy Sara, and with commentary from the renowned Smart scholar, Chris Mounsey, The Language of Flowers won the Prix Marulić in 2004.
Listen to the play