"in his darkroom he is finally alone" ...stanza 1.
- this is a complete contrast from what it was like during the war.
"spools of suffering"
- links to the theme of death.
- however it is not camera spools that are suffering it is the images on them that show suffering.
- has connotations of death as they could be like coffins lined up in a war cemetery.
"The only light is red"
- has a symbolic meaning as well as literal.
- symbolic- red is the colour of blood and the colour is thought of as dangerous. Significant as the photo's are all of death.
- literal- the photo's are being developed in a dark room, where the light is red.
"Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh."
- Its significant as they are all sites of conflict.
"All flesh is grass"
- is a biblical metaphor which mean human life is like grass, it is cheap and insignificant as there is so much of it, so if one strand gets cut it makes no difference.
"Solutions slop in trays"
- this can be seen in 2 way, one the chemical photography solution is moving about in the tray. and the other that the solution to the wars problems may be in his hands and the tray. The photo's could be a solution as they could be showing that how terrible the conditions and war is out there.
- meaning that our major problems are the weather not anything important like war. our problems are trivial.
there is a contrast between Rural England and the war zones the contrast being that children are able to play in fields happily compared to children running from the conflict of the war.
"a strangers features faintly start to twist"
- this is when a image is starting to come onto the paper.
- becomes clear that someone is in pain in the picture.
"half formed ghost"
- metaphor as it is a faint image of a dead man.
"blood stained into foreign dust"...stanza 3.
- is a strong poetic image in which word choice is important; the image is highlighted the pain and suffering of those caught up in war. by saying that it's blood stained suggests land itself is marked by the conflict
"a hundred agonies in black-and-white"...stanza 3
- metaphor- it explains that individual trauma or death, black and white are ambiguous moral dilemma's of is it right. we normally use black and white as something straightforward however taking pictures of war isn't.
"editor will pick out five or six" ...stanza 4
- this is implying that picking out photos of people suffering is a casual thing and is like picking out something from a menu, the editor has no sense of horror that she is looking at people dead in photographs.
"the readers eyeballs ***** with tears"stanza 4
- the word ***** suggests a short burst of pain which makes us think that the reader who see's the photograph doesn't feel much emotion towards it.
- the tone is disrespectful as she is talking about their eyes not their own emotions reacting
"they do not care"
- this is the last phrase in the poem.
- it shows us that not many people care about other people risking their lives for their country.
- their is no point in the job if nobody cares about what is happening in the world.