Carol Ann Duffy.

Essay by akk713High School, 11th grade May 2003

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One of Carol Ann Duffy's poems is "The war photographer". By reading the title we know that this poem has a subject matter related to war. "The war photographer" is about a photographer in England is responsible of taking photos in the wars, when he develops the films he recalls the horrible images of the victims in the war. He sends the pictures to the editor who chooses only a few of them to print it on the newspaper. The photographer knows his pictures are not very important to the readers because they don't care what is happening in the war.

The poem starts with the process of the films of the war pictures being developed.

"In his darkroom he is finally alone with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows. The only light is red and softly glows."

This image is interesting to the readers because the war photographer is doing a normal job, but the "darkroom" and "spools of suffering" create an intense atmosphere.

Darkness represents horror, which can make the readers aware of the sufferings more effectively. "Ordered rows" is use as a metaphor as graveyards and the "red" light can remind the readers of blood, these symbolize death. Duffy is trying to give a serious tone and an impression of horrible death, which is very related to war.

In the second stanza Duffy uses a powerful and disturbing image in the war, but she states that this does not happen in the photographer's home, England.

"Home again to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel to fields which don't explode beneath the feet of running children in a nightmare heat"

By describing an image, the readers can feel the brutality of war. Children are very typical innocent figures, but they are the victims in...