Cartoon of the man with the cut-off shadow
Early one crisp September morning, with mists
lifting and dispersing, a line of migrating birds,
a man is waiting on a railway platform.
His shadow falls diagonally across the tracks.
It is very like him. It is his.
He ought to shift position. When the train comes...
(There is a type of humorous drawing
where this actually occurs – irresistably amusing)
Rubbish! A shadow is not vulnerable,
a shadow is something negative, is nothing at all.
In other words, a shadow can’t be cut off.
But this fear, what does it mean?
That half of reality is giddiness and dreams,
a utopia that follows us at a suitable distance, invulnerable.
While the war grows, the storm increases, our invulnerable shadow
of fictions, expectations and interpretations follows
close behind us, observing. It is like us.
But lacks every connection with the life we live.
And not even Plato, with his double worlds,
knew how right he was!
Cut it off, cut with heavy wheels!
And finally the train comes round the curve.
He gets on.
And takes his shadow with him.