'War Photographer' analysis of Carol Ann Duffy's poem

diachen
diachen / 5 yrs ago /
  0



                     

                                                 ‘War Photographer’ – analysis of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem
Carol Ann Duffy has something poignant to say when she deals with anything. The British poet laureate, I think, is a rare writer who has brought the language of poetry to the commoner’s door.   When you think of the Classicists in British poetry from the times of William Shakespeare to perhaps the last scion of the Victorian age Mathew Arnold you always feel that they pandered more to the growing and diverse tastes of the emerging middle class in England.
            People may say that Shakespeare was not one of them because his plays had some of the native dialect spoken in Elizabethan England and his plays were staged to please audiences of all distinctions, including the countyfolk.   I would still insist that refined tastes of the Elizabethan Age still were peculiar to the emerging trading class and the nobility than the commoner.  
           The same logic may possibly apply to poets of the Victorian era. Most of them dabbled in a romantic medium even though Industrial Revolution had introduced machinery into social life and a growing workforce which was not enfranchised then. From Shelley to Byron their themes and world view rarely, if ever, reflected the ethos of the industrial society that was emerging. Except Arnold who alone brought a glimpse of the social life in his poetry and was an unsparing critic of the pitfalls of Industrial Revolution. His Scholar Gypsy was a testimony to it.
        When the world gravitated towards war in the 20th century poetry took on a serious,inquisitive role. Owen’s war poetry (he himself was commissioned and had personal experience of it) was known for its overwhelming pathos but it was a vehement protest. And his poetic language was close to anyone’s heart if he cared to read it. This is where Carol comes in.
       Her poem “War Photographer” is a mixed baggage of emotions – pain at suffering, self-reproach at the passive observer role a war photographer plays ultimately, the peaceful haven that rural England is and the callous indifference of the Editor who chooses one of the six snaps for publication. It is an everyday occurrence and a sensitive photographer is alive to the potency of such a situation when he/she has to cover war. 
       There are many spots that are conflict-prone – Beirut, Belfast, Phnom Penh and war photographers are always called upon to witness the mayhem going on there. “All flesh is grass” Carol’s expression here  is almost like hammering it in to you …..that wherever it happens to whatever community the dying and dead flesh is part of grass.   You get the feeling that a commoner who has felt the suffering is unveiling himself to you. You get the same feeling of helplessness when you read these lines.
                                                                                                                                                                         
    Solutions slop in trays                                                                                         
beneath his hands which did not tremble then
though seem to now. Rural England.
       It is a common truth that war is apathetic though the nations which fought wars had clear political agenda. But Carol has brought that apathy out so well in these lines that will make every reader tremble a bit. 
“He remembers the cries                                                                                       
of this man's wife, how he sought approval
without words to do what someone must
and how the blood stained into foreign dust”.

These lines bring out a simple truth – whoever is called upon to bear the cross of commitment spills his blood on the dust , native or foreign. The dust takes it all without a murmur of protest. 
 


                       






couples

Monsoon Romance Contest

View Popularity Board

Contest Entries

Priyadarshi Dutta
Monsoon makeover
 By Priyadarshi DuttaNikhila stood in the terrace of her top floor flat in Dadar looking at the waterlogged patches of the road. The rains had heavily walloped the Mumbai the previous afternoon.
2 weeks ago
Vignesh Karnam
The Dawn of Rain.
 The rain always gathered all of my courage. I always loved the rain. I stepped out on a whim and noticed myself melting in the presence of another being. The presence so divine and lovely , I
2 weeks ago
Alka Girdhar
Mellowing Monsoons
 The rain fell incessantly in a continuous noisy torrent, but its seemingly immaculate fall was a mere puppet in the hands of angry gushing winds that made it sway this way and that way, this way
2 weeks ago
MeghnaVinod
THE LOVE OF MY LIFE IS HERE
 THE LOVE OF MY LIFEBangalore. 13 February. 6pm.Samiksha: It was raining. Raining hard. I could hear the raindrops falling on our tilled roof pitter patter. I just stood there enjoying the slight
2 weeks ago
TheBigThinkg Blog
The Lusty Love..
 I looked at her longingly..There she was, probably with her little son next to her..I am new to this village. I had come here with four of my friends. The sacrifice festival of this village is
2 weeks ago
novelideas
SPEECHLESS
 I waitfor this distant horizonto gather scattered petalsof crimson glory from its canvassinto a spongy blanketbillowing to spread its wingswith the whispering zephyrI wishnow to be let into those
2 weeks ago
chitra viswanathan
The magic of the rain after a storm
 “Swetha, are you ready ” asked her mother, Prema. “It is getting late. It will not be nice if we go late to receive Venkatesh.” They all got into the car. There was great
2 weeks ago
Tripti
All I want is you..
  26th June, 2014 Mumbai 18:30 hours"Feeling numb." "As I pen this down, I''m sitting closer to the entrance, staring outside my tent so that the wetness hits me. I''m not enjoying it,
2 weeks ago
Shalini Prasad
The Magic the Rain Brings - Part 3
 This year, people expected a lot of rain. To say that they were disappointed would be an understatement. The monsoon season was as dry as the summer. The farmers were suffering, the lakes were
2 weeks ago
aruna
In Reference To Monsoon Romance Contest
 To day is the day of birth day of Krishna.How we can forget him when we talk of romance here.He gave a new look to love. Radha was his lady love though he never married to her.When we are facing
2 weeks ago