BBC 2’s “Cento”: There’s always more to see

I really like the little video the BBC are running at the moment promoting the work of its program-makers, beautifully done: a “cento” is a new poem comprising lines of poetry from other poems or works (mash-up art), in this (composed by Alison Chisholm) lines from John Keats, Arthur O’Shaughnessy, James Elroy Flecker, Walter Savage Landor, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Lord Tennyson and from Chisholm’s own work. The text in full (with the provenances of the various lines) is as follows:

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen, (John Keats – On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer)
But still I long to learn (Alison Chisolm)
tales, marvellous tales,
Of ships and stars and isles where good men rest, (James Elroy Flecker – The Golden Road to Samarkand)
How others fought to forge my world. (Alison Chisolm)
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What wild ecstasy? (John Keats – Ode on a Grecian Urn)
[How far the unknown transcends the what we know. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Nature)]
We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams, (Arthur O’Shaughnessy – Ode)
Step forward, (Walter Savage Landor – Interlude)
To feel the blood run through the veins and tingle
Where busy thought and blind sensation mingle. (Percy Bysshe Shelley – Fragment)
Come, my friends, ’tis not too late, (Alfred Lord Tennyson – Ulysses)
For we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems; (Arthur O’Shaughnessy – Ode)
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield. (Alfred Lord Tennyson – Ulysses)

Ben Wishaw as Richard II in The Hollow Crown, images from which are featured in the promo film

Ps: the voice doing the voice-under is Peter Capaldi’s, which I wouldn’t have guessed



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