War Photographer

Length: 5 Pages 1314 Words

WAR PHOTOGRAPHER By Carol Ann Duffy The poem is called war photographer by carol Ann Duffy. The poem is about a photographer developing his photos in a darkroom after returning from a war zone. Carol Duffy’s purpose to this poem is to make us think about the things that we think aren’t important because they don’t affect us for example the war zone which the writer has just returned from. She also wants us to think about what people like the photographer go through to let the people safe at home know what’s happening in the world. The poem has a rhyme structure in each stanza, which goes A-B-B-C-D-D. In stanza one the writer is in his darkroom and is setting out his spools of film to be developed-“In his darkroom he is finally alone with his spools of suffering set out in ordered rows”. The use of the word “finally” suggests that he’s been through a lot recently and he is somewhat glad to be alone now. Duffy gives us a contrast between the first and second lines of the poem. Duffy begins by telling saying the photographer is “finally alone” but then in the same sentence you are told that he has his “spools of suffering” which would have the images of many people either dead or in pain which you Continue...


The opening sentences are effective because they refer to death, which ties in with the war theme. Its as though its his calling to be a photographer like its a priest's calling would be to serve god. This a contrast because its as though he is going from a safe and peaceful world into the complete opposite world with violence, fear and danger (the contrast of peace and war). The sentence "the readers eyes prick with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers is the start of the Duffy's conclusion. This reference is very effective because it emphasise the fact that war always involves some form of suffering. The first sentence of this stanza explains just how little we get to see of images from wars, etc. The word "twist is effective as it gives the reader the impression that the photographer is recalling or thinking back to the point when he took the picture so the picture would be twisting as the photographer seems to be rewinding his mind and it shows in the picture. the writer has taken over a hundred photos and yet only five or six of them will make it to the newspaper readers eyes. It has the effect of stretching the word "suffering out so the readers takes more notice of it. A strangers features start to twist before his eyes a half-formed ghost. In the last sentence of the stanza there is another reference like the one in stanza one, which suggests there are dead bodies all over the land-"blood stained in foreign dust. The image may only be half formed because the man in the photo might have body parts missing. This reference is effective, as it seems to help you form and image of what the photographer might be looking at on the photos. By using lots of punctuation namely caesuras and plosives the poet successfully slows the reader down slightly making them reflect on the stanza. Its about how the readers only show a sort of instantaneous moment of caring about what they are reading but that feeling is then driven from them by silly meaningless things such as having their bath or the lunch beer.