But at the same time there are poetic overtones in what they say - or am I just adding that myself?
DH: I'd be very pleased if there were. I suppose it would reside more in the rhythms of speech, and this is a thing which is necessarily present in radio; the rhythms of speech are such that they will carry the listener along the pattern of sound which unconsciously is agreeable to the ear, and i would throw out lines which spoil the rhythm. We would very often succeed in getting the lines spoken to preserve the rhythm, and therefore to pin the listener to the words. The rhythm is probably as great a part of the meaning as the actual words themselves.
Do you have any favourite amongst your radio plays?
DH: Yes, I think I'm very fond of 'A View from the Mountain'; not particularly because of the text but because of the way that it was done; a beautifully performed play, which brought out everything that it had within it, and added a great deal to it.
If I was actually to choose one I preferred above the others then I would choose 'On a Day in Summer in a Garden'.
That's the one where the plants talk....
DH: That's right.
...and then some awful chap comes along with the weed killer..
DH: ... and finishes one of them off ... what with this and the one where the chap gives the man to the pigs, we're giving a very sombre impression.
..there's a pretty macabre side to you, Don ..
DH: This could only be done on radio. If you tried in any visual form, then you're getting into the 'talking horse' business. The thing is visualised by the listener, who will bear with the fact that these plants have some human characteristics.
Dick Dock: Grandad, the persons move and the buttercups creep, and we're .... rooted, aren't we?
Grandad Dock: We are indeed. Steadfast.
Dick Dock: Why do the persons move?
Jim Dock: It's to get out of the way of the bullocks.
Grandad Dock: I've never heard that, Jim.
Jim Dock: Oh yes, the docks in the field ... the bullocks bogged on them....they did last summer. Flattened them. A right sloppy load.
Dick Dock: Is that more dangerous than the creeping buttercup?
Jim Dock: Not really.... merely unpleasant. Dung and dust accumulating, and flies buzzing around.
Granded Dock: Distasteful more than anything. Distasteful.
Dick Dock: I was asking about the persons moving.
Jim Dock: Well, they move so they don't get bogged on by the bullocks.
Dick Dock: But the bullocks can move too, uncle Jim.
Jim Dock: Yes.
Dick Dock: So that if the persons move, the bullocks can also move and bog on them where they've moved to.
Grandad Dock: That's right, Jim.
Jim Dock: Perhaps. It doesn't seem to work out like that here in practice.
Dick Dock: Perhaps that's why he closes the gate.
Jim Dock: How?
Dick Dock: So the bullocks can't follow into the house and bog on them there.