War Photographer

War Photographer
• This is a poem written by Carol Ann Duffy. The
speaker is an anonymous photographer, who
tries to capture the reader’s attention through
the theme of Death and War. The poem
explores the way we are able to become
numb from the horrors and deaths happening
around us. The photographer portrays these
ideas through his job.
The metaphor 'spools of suffering'
conveys the effects of war. Camera
spools are usually filled with happy
memories, but in this case are filled
with the terror of war.
Colour could symbolise
blood from death.
Cities which have been
affected by the war.
This is a metaphor is
taken from the Old
Testament of the Bible.
It means that life is
The word ‘solutions’ has a double
meaning. It could mean the liquid
used to develop photos, or a solution
for the war.
The photographer compares his daily pains and problems to
those of the children who live through a constant nightmare of
pain and death. His life seems so insignificant, and his problems
petty in comparison with those of children in war.
This quote shows the
effect of war on the
mental state. He is
scarred with all the
pain he has
photographed. His
life seems
meaningless now that
he has witnessed the
horrors of war and all
the pain innocent
people have to
The image is beginning to appear as the photo develops.
The image shows a person who is in serious agony.
who is
dying, ‘a
The photographer remembers the wife of the soldier
in the photo. He wasn’t able to ask for approval to take
the photo, maybe because he didn’t speak the
language, or because there wasn’t enough time.
The word “agony” conveys the
unthinkable amount of pain
brought onto the lives of the
people suffering in the war.
Despite the
going on in
each photo,
the editor
will only
pick the
ones to suit
the article.
The rest will
be thrown
“Black and white” could have a double meaning. It
could be referring to the photos which are literally
black and white, or it could symbolise Good and Evil.
Also, Duffy could be suggesting that it is important to
tell the truth through these photos.
The tone is very cynical. Duffy is suggesting that even those these
images might evoke some sadness in the viewer, they will forget about
it the second something else comes up.
The photographer’s feeling towards society are clearly shown.
It all seems pointless to him because he knows that the readers
or viewers “do not care”.
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