War Photographer Poem Analysis

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How do the poets you have studied explore the theme of loss and conflict?

Loss and conflict is a theme that has been explored frequently by poets. Loss and suffering seems to affect everyone no matter where they come from. Chinua Achebe is from Africa and tells us about the loss and suffering in his country which is similar to the feelings of loss and grief expressed by the other poets from the United Kingdom. This shows that suffering affects every human being and always has done. The poets studied have been writing about loss and suffering from the early part of the twentieth century like W.H Auden and Tony Harrison through to the present day with poets like Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy.

In “War Photographer” by Carol Ann Duffy,
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The sibilance in this quote draws the reader’s attention to the image and prepares us for images of loss and pain. A “dark room” is where a photographer develops his photographs but in this case it could take on another meaning and could have connotations of death. In particular, the death of a man who was murdered in front of his eyes in a war zone. This man is revealed from the “spools of suffering” as a “half-formed ghost”. This metaphor has connotations of a haunting and the photographer is haunted by the terrible image of death and suffering where he still remembers “the cries of this man’s wife”. This has left the war photographer with feelings of great guilt and conflict because of the job he has to do. The war photographer does not escape loss and conflict when he returns to the safety of where he lives. “Home again to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel, to fields which don’t explode. ”In “War Photographer” Duffy tells the reader that the photographer is home from the war zone. “Ordinary pain” is an oxymoron because no pain is really ordinary but for the war photographer ordinary pain is just discomfort and not fields, which explode which, is terrible pain to be a part of. “Home again” in England where the photographer lives have few problems compared to the war zones of …show more content…
He repeats the command “Rage” which has connotations of great anger and frustration. The “dying of the light” that he speaks of could be seen as the end of life where his father is about to go and leave him forever. While the son is thinking about the loss his father’s death will mean, he talks about the different types of men and how they cope with their deaths. He talks about “wise men”, “good men”, “wild men” and “grave men” who all have regrets at the end of their lives. The “wise men” know that death is coming and accept that. They know “dark is right” but regret that what they have spoken in the life hasn’t made an impression in the world, and know too late that it is the truth. Men that have been “good” regret their lost opportunities that “might have danced in a green bay” and “wild men” who have lived life to the full did not see that time was passing quickly and would soon be gone. Then he speaks of “grave men” who were too serious in their life and now at the end “see with blinding sight” that they could of enjoyed life more fully and did not achieve what they could have. The poet uses an oxymoron in the image of “blinding sight”. This shows that the man who could not see, can now see what he has missed. The last stanza conveys the sadness of the son because his father is about to leave him and die. He asks his father to “Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears”. Thomas uses contrasting verbs in “curse” and

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