War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy



  • Written in third person, the poem describes a photographer in his darkroom as he devlops prints fro his last job in the field.
  • As the images which slop in his trays emerge, he is filled horror at the memories of the violent scences he was witnessed and photographed. 
  • His hands shake, as Duffy uses powerful imagery and effective contrast to explore not only the conflict in war but the conflict within himself, and in the wider world of media reporting.
  • Written in 4 stanzas ,each of 6 lines (sestet) with a regular rhyme scheme, this poem seems to be imposing order into the chaotic world of war that the war photographer works in.


  • The poem comes from Duffys friendship with Don McCullin and Philip Jones Griffths, two well-respected photographers who specilied in War Photography.
  • Duffy is fiscinated by what makes someone do such a job, and how they fell about being in situations where a choice often has to be made between recording horric


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