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War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:55 pm
by Colin
In his darkroom he is finally alone
with spools of suffering set out in ordered rows.
The only light is red and softly glows,
as though this were a church and he
a priest preparing to intone a Mass.
Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass.

He has a job to do. Solutions slop in trays
beneath his hands which did not tremble then
though seem to now. Rural England. Home again
to ordinary pain which simple weather can dispel,
to fields which don't explode beneath the feet
of running children in a nightmare heat.

Something is happening. A stranger's features
faintly start to twist before his eyes,
a half-formed ghost. 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.

A hundred agonies in black-and-white
from which his editor will pick our five or six
for Sunday's supplement. The reader's eyeballs prick
with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers.
From the aeroplane he stares impassively at where
he earns his living and they do not care.

By Carol Ann Duffy

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:20 pm
by Adam
I take some photos and this rings a bell, and reminds us of the grim reality of wars.

Just a thought

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:19 am
by John A Silkstone
What a great poem. Portrays the inner feeling of the photographer. Do they see the sight? Or is their live lived through the lens, so that they can distance themselves?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:38 pm
by Colin
Thank you for reading the poem.