Death In War Poetry Essay

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Death is a part of life which affects everyone in various ways. Therefore, people find different ways to cope with their loss. The poems ‘War Photographer’ by Carol Ann Duffy, ‘Prayer before Birth’ by Louis MacNeice, ‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ by Alice Walker, ‘A Mother in a Refugee Camp’ by Chinua Achebe, ‘Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night’ by Dylan Thomas and ‘Remember’ by Christina Rossetti explore and present different attitudes of death. ‘War Photographer’, ‘Prayer before Birth’, ‘Do Not Go Gentle into the Good Night’ and ‘A Mother in a Refugee Camp’ all have a pessimistic view of death. Whereas ‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ and ‘Remember’ present optimistic views of death. ‘War Photographer’, ‘Prayer before Birth’ and ‘Poem at Thirty-Nine’ will be analyzed in detail.

‘War Photographer’ by Carol Ann Duffy is a dark poem that presents war photographers, whose job it is to capture horrific images of those suffering in the war or dying as a consequence - without intervening directly, and their reactions. Duffy is known for writing about violence, oppression and humanity. In the 1970s, Duffy was in close contact with Don McCullin - a famous war photographer whose photos were widely appreciated. The persona of ‘War
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She expresses “many of [her] truths must have grieved [her father] before the end”, the “end” referring to his death. This implicitly refers to the criticisms she received by her early work which would have been read by her father. Walker would have regretted making her father feel “so tired” when she was born due to the work her father must have had to do to support them both. This is similar to ‘Prayer before Birth’ as Walker feels responsible for her father’s death. It is also similar to ‘War Photographer’ because Walker believes she has a debt she owes to her father who may have suffered as a consequence of her

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