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War Photographer, Duffy - Literary Criticism

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Introduction

Literary Criticism 'War Photographer' By Carol Ann Duffy 'War Photographer' by Carol Ann Duffy is a poem written about the life of a professional war photographer. It follows him from the battlefields of abroad to his private darkroom in 'rural England'. As the photographer develops his pictures he is haunted by the wife of a dead man that he photographed dying, and refused to help. When the pictures have been completely developed he takes them to a newspaper editor, who glances over them as if they were family photos. Duffy uses imagery to good effect in this poem. The lines four and five are all one long simile comparing the method of developing a picture to a 'priest preparing to intone a mass'. ...read more.

Middle

This illustrates how Duffy dictates the rhythm and flow of the poem through simple punctuation. The rhyming pattern of the poem is quite hard to find but it is there. Duffy used an ABBCDD throughout the poem, although in verse 4 she also uses an internal rhyming scheme in line 22, 'with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers'. Duffy knows how she wants the reader to feel whilst reading the poem. In line 21 she says, 'the reader's eyeballs prick with tears'. Using the word prick shows that the tear is painful and you can feel it, whereas saying something like 'tears drip from the reader's eyeball' would not have the same effect. ...read more.

Conclusion

I suppose this is a valid view as there is a lot of war in the world and very few things are ever done to combat it, but there is a limit to what we, thousands of miles from these conflicts, can do about it The fact that the war photographer mentioned in the poem is totally emotionally detached from his job shows that even the Brits involved in the war care very little as they are not fighting in it and they are not being attacked in it. I think this poem gets its point across very well, and although I'm not a huge fan of this sort of depressing genre of literature, it is quite a good poem. Duffy uses a mix of very long sentences and very short sentences very well and it is this stop-start flow that Duffy dictates with such ease. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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