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War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy

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War Photograph by Carol Ann Duffy The poem that I am going to analyse is 'War Photographer' by Carol Ann Duffy. In the opening stanza the reader is introduced to an unnamed photographer who is 'finally alone' which is a strong comparison to the people in the photographs alone as all their relative would have died and their homes and belonging destroyed. The opening line of the poem is ambiguous as Duffy is choosing not to expose the true and horrific nature to war, instead introduces the photographer. This immediately tells us he is glad of this tranquillity to focus on printing his photographs showing he feels this is a safe place away from the horrors of the war. On the second line of the first stanza of the poem Duffy uses sibilance with 'spools', 'suffering' and 'set', to emphasise the intensity of the war and the pain the of war. With Duffy using the word 'ordered' when referring to the way the spools are set out she creates a contrast with the spools and the organised rows as all the spools have images of chaos and war which contrasts with the neat order of the way they are set out. This creates the image of death for the reader as the spools are set out in the same way that coffins would be, neatly is 'ordered' rows. ...read more.


The reader gets the feeling that a person who has felt the suffering is unveiling himself to you as you read on. You get the same feeling of helplessness that the people in the photographs must have felt also. It is also apparent that the panic has been delayed for the photographer. Suddenly the facts hit him, but the irony is that the after effects of the war are now catching up with him. When he was in the middle of danger he wasn't afraid; it is now he is back home that he finds his 'hands tremble'. Furthermore the intensity of what he has witnessed also seems to hit him as he reviews the images. The line 'rural England' stands out as it's suggesting that England is peaceful place in comparison with the panic and chaos of war. The photographer is glad he is now 'home again' where there is no war. Duffy is emphasising the fact that the people living in England do not have to fear for their lives everyday like the people suffering in the photographs. Duffy also makes it clear that in England 'pain simple weather can dispel'. This means that in England that everything can be made alright just with a simple sunny day as opposed to war torn countries they live in fear as landmines explode and blow up 'running children'. ...read more.


In the final stanza the photographer has now finished developing his photographs and is now reminiscent of his next job. Behind every photo there are so many different stories that are described as 'A hundred agonies' but only a small selection will be chosen to make an impact on the reader of the 'Sunday supplement'. The fact that these pictures are sifted through, 'editor picks out five or six', shows a lack of respect for the dead featured in the pictures. Furthermore, the idea that they are only to 'supplement' a Sunday paper simply publicises them. This is emphasized in describing a sort of false emotion the reader will feel by glancing over the newspaper. They will have a slight effect on the reader, enough to make the reader perhaps have tears in their eyes shown when 'The reader's eyeballs prick', but it is only temporary. For that moment when they read the paper it will stir them but quickly the reader will be thinking of something else such as 'pre-lunch beers'. The pain and suffering is trivialized in the ordinary lives people have. The concluding lines show that once again the photographer has to move on with his work. As he sets off to a new location, he knows that what he does won't make a difference. It is his career but the public aren't bothered shown in the final line that sums up the whole poem, 'they do not care'. This is a bitter image of the real truth. ...read more.

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