Poems for Idle Workers
A series of small poems by Holly Pester, set in the brief pauses of work-breaks. Inspired by Virgil’s Eclogues and performed by Maggie Nicols and Keeley Forsyth.
A series of small poems by Holly Pester, set in the brief pauses of work-breaks. Inspired by Virgil, absurdism, and sound poetry. Performed by Maggie Nicols and Keeley Forsyth.
In the year 42 BC, the Latin poet Virgil began to write his famous Eclogues (the term comes from a word meaning sketch or draft), reflecting tensions in the countryside caused by civil-war in Italy and the assassination of Caesar. In these pieces, dispossessed herdsmen gossip, sing and fight alongside those who have been granted land by the new regime.
Since Virgil, poets including Percy B Shelley and WH Auden have used the eclogue form to explore more modern ideas of labour and land, touching on the real and the mythic at once.
Here, Holly Pester presents a new set of experimental eclogues that take place in a contemporary work-space, where two lowly office workers find themselves united yet divided, trying to find a connection in the stolen moments of not-working. But is there ever really such a moment?
Magatha is read and sung by Maggie Nicols
Terry is read and sung by Keeley Forsyth
Written and introduced by Holly Pester
Produced by Jack Howson
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 4