War Photographer Essay

740 words - 3 pages

War Photographer

The broad description of this poem would be about a photographer,
taking pictures of scenes in the war. Judging from the language and
phrases used , the pictures are not particularly nice ones. The writer
is describing a photographer - the photographer is not writing about
himself.

The first stanza is the introducing stanza. The writer is describing
the photographer as "finally alone", meaning that , after he has been
taking pictures of the war, while seeing everyone, he can now sit in
his darkroom (a room where photographs are processed) almost isolated
from the outside world, and ready to look at the developing cold,
gruesome photographs that he has taken. In the second line of the
first stanza , the writer is said to quote: "with spools of suffering
set out in ordered rows". The words "spools of suffering" suggest to
me that the photographs are nasty and horrid and maybe even
traumatising! "In ordered rows" are the pictures being laid out in
rows. The next line: "the only light is red and softly glows" suggests
to me that there was danger (hence the red - red shows danger:
violence, death). But another way of looking at the line is the fact
that the red is the light to prevent anyone coming in the darkroom
while the photographs are in the stage of processing. "As though this
were a church and he a priest preparing to intone a mass". Here the
writer is making a comparison to a priest. "Belfast. Beirut. Phnom
Penh . The writer is telling of all the places the photographer has
been , and he is emphasising that there was violence in many different
parts of the world at that time of the war. And the phrase, "All flesh
is grass" can be inverted to make: "All grass is flesh", and then we
find the phrase much easier to understand. We can find grass all over
the world, and the writer is suggesting that there are dead bodies
almost anywhere .

In the second stanza , the writer is said to quote: "He has a job to
do". This suggests that he has to do it , in order to make a living.
The next sentence is: "Solutions slop in trays beneath his hands which
did not tremble then though seem to now." To me, the writer suggests
that the photographer, looking at his developing pictures , is
extremely...

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