War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy

  • Created by: randall04
  • Created on: 28-10-19 23:24
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  • War Photographer Carole Ann Duffy
    • form and structure
      • The regular form of this poem in some ways mirrors the sense of the photographer's attempt to order his strong emotions. The form is a way of containing, controlling and dealing with the anger and pain the poet feels.
        • the regular rhyme scheme and six line stanzas could also represent his job where he has to articulate what is happening so that we the public may understand
      • the caesura of rural england demonstrates how in the uk we are seperate from the horrors of war
      • the internal rhyme in with tears between bath and pre-lunch beers. speeds up the pace of the reading which represents the speed at which people forget the horrors of war
      • the poem also has a cyclical structure with it starting with him returning from  the trip and ending with him going on a trip this could represent the idea of fate and how he cant stop this
    • quotes
      • In his darkroom he is finally alone with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows
        • adverb finally- gives it a tone of relief
        • the sibiilance in the metaphor spools of suffering gives it a sinister tone. possibly making him think about what he is doing and how sinister it is. the spool could be a metaphor for the greif and pain the photographer captures
        • the ordered rows refer to how this is the only place where order can be found in war. could be a symbol of a grave yard and tombstones
      • as though this were a church and he a priest preparing to intone a Mass.Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.
        • by likening his dark room to a church it makes it seem sacred
        • she is also likening the process of developing photographs to a funeral as he has to recreate peoples suffering and their deaths
        • the plosive Ps and Bs of the countries named could be interpreted as anger. also the abrupt stop in the stanza to use these short sentences invokes images of war zone with in the reader much like what he has to capture
        • all flesh is grass is a biblical ref to  the book of isiah in translation it means that nothing lasts. contiues the theme of relgion throughout the poem
      • the nightmare heat t refers to use of nepalm
      • a half-formed ghost. He remembers the criesof this man's wife, how he sought approvalwithout words to do what someone must
        • This is double entendre. The ‘stranger’s’ developing figure is unclear, so his image resembles a ghost. Or he has died as a result of the fighting.
        • These lines question the ethics of war photography. The man obviously has a right to privacy, but as the photographer doesn’t speak the native language of this country, he is unable to ask his grief-stricken wife’s permission to take the photos or, possibly, the wife is too much in despair to notice the photographer, so he has to take the photo without asking her.Alternatively, ‘without words’ need not be literal but could signify that the photographer was too shocked and horrified to find words to express what he wanted to say, in any language.
      • The reader's eyeballs *****with tears between bath and pre-lunch beers.
        • The word “*****” can be likened to the pain felt when *****ing one’s finger. It is fleeting and quickly forgotten. Duffy likens this to the effect the photo has upon the reader. Although the photographer hopes to change the readers' point of view and inspire change, he knows realistically that he will not be making a difference, as the audience is not able to relate to the pictures or see the stories behind them as he can.
      • From aeroplane he stares impassively at wherehe earns a living and they do not care.
        • It is implied that the photographer is numb to the significance of his task, as are the readers and his editor. The word ‘impassively’ reinforces this.
        • There’s also an irony at play here in the word ‘living" – he earns money and 'lives’ on the back of exploiting those who are not ‘living’ - they are dead.
    • context
      • was the poet laureate
      • wrote war photographer in 1985
      • she was friends with Don Mcculin and Phillip Jones Griffiths two war photographers this helped to inspire the poem
      • this poem is critical of the use of nepalm as a weapon


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