A poem which describes a persons experience is War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy.

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War Photographer Essay

Choose a poem which describes a person’s experience. Explain how the poetic techniques used to describe the experience make the poem more interesting.

        A poem which describes a person’s experience is War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy. The poem depicts a photographer who has recently returned from an assignment to a war-ridden country. It emphasises the harshness of war photography through the photographer’s thoughts on his experience abroad.

In the first stanza, Duffy conveys the nature of the photographer’s profession and his experience abroad. The first sentence conveys a strong sense of relief:

        “In his darkroom he is finally alone”

The photographer has been in chaotic and busy environments and he has not been able to fully comprehend the things that he has seen. Duffy suggests here that he is comforted to be alone and there is a strong sense that he is overwhelmed by the scenes of pain and suffering he has observed overseas.

Duffy gives the impression that the photographer laying out his photographic film has a deeper meaning:

        “Spools of suffering set out in ordered rows”

The “rows” have connotations of the graveyards. This suggests that the photographer has seen very traumatizing and disturbing mass burials and graveyards that have taken place because of the war. It is almost as if the photographer is giving all the wartime victims a proper burial that they never received. His experience in war inflicted countries is definitely one he, as much as he tries, will never be able to forget.

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Duffy shows the photographers profession by listing several places:

        “Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh.”

These are all places with some type of war and conflict. Duffy could also be suggesting that these are the places that the photographer has recently visited and he is putting all the photographs in order. In this poem there are two contrasting worlds: the dangerous war zones and “rural England”. This creates a powerful and stark disparity between the places the writer has experienced and his home in England.

The poet emphasises how deeply the events he sees abroad affects him in the second stanza:

        “beneath ...

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