This poem was written by Liz Cashdan in response to both Nin's collection of autographs, and to the visual sequence of moving images. The poem was fragmented - glimmers of sounds, words and phrases which are embedded in the sound sequence - reflecting the shadowy figure of Nin, and the travellers who crossed the atlantic in the 1930's


Shadows : Autographs


Children are their own shadows disappearing
into the fog of the years ahead, their whispers
voice shadows sucked into the unknown.

Nin has a way of saving the past, her leather
album where her shadow falls across the page:
her innocent pastime, her moments of love,

being the feller your mother thinks you are,
never sighing when you can sing, laughing
with the world that laughs with you.

We know nothing of Nin, her footprints washed
away by the sea swilling in from the west, across
the reaches of the Atlantic where the great liners

Queen mary, Queen Elizabeth, ghost containers, ply
the ocean, with the rich and famous – not drowned
but swallowed in the shadows of their own histories

Nin has her autograph book to make her catch
as the ship rolls, tosses her into the arms of
Eroll Flynn. The next roll she is caught by

Tommy Farr, passed to H.G. Wells and A.J. Cronin
the Duke of Windsor, Eleanor Roosevelt, their
signatures longer-lasting than shadows on the sand.