I’ve always loved the expression ‘movers and shakers’ without ever knowing where it came from until today. I like the action of movers and the mild rebellion, as I see it, of shakers. I’ve heard this expression a couple of times recently on the BBC2 trail for their treasure house of delights in this season’s creative output.
And loving words as I do this led me on a delightful journey, because the voiceover makes movers and shakers sound like part of one poem but I then discovered it is not one poem but excerpts from six poems by Keats, O’Shaughnessy, Flecker, Landor, Shelley and Tennyson all woven together by award-winning poet Alison Chisholm into something called a cento. Poet Alison says that “centos tantalise the imagination”. I should say! Hers certainly tantalised mine.
Here’s the full cento from Alison – don’t you think this could be about our entrepreneurial journey as much as anything?
Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen,
But still I long to learn tales, marvellous tales,
Of ships and stars and isles where good men rest,
How others fought to forge my world.
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What wild ecstasy?
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
To feel the blood run through the veins and tingle
Where busy thought and blind sensation mingle.
Come, my friends, ‘tis not too late,
For we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems;
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.
You can read here which snippets comes from which poems and see Alison’s gift in weaving them all together and watch BBC2’s fabulous trail here: