War Photographer Poem by Carol Ann Duffy

War Photographer



In his dark room 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 out 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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
mikoy 22 January 2018

mad poem mad poem mad poem

4 4 Reply
HAHEHAHE 08 June 2022

DEEP POEM

0 0 Reply
londonderry445 02 June 2021

We're the boys of Belfast town rantin', roarin', ramblin' 'round we're Irishmen of high renown that's the boys of Belfast

0 0 Reply
Adam Johnston 10 April 2019

wains wains wains wains wains wains wains

2 4 Reply
jimmy morley andy ;) 12 December 2018

in this poem it talks about children running and that pleases me alot

4 7 Reply
me 06 January 2021

what the is wrong with you, that's such a creepy thing to say at the end of a very sad and deep poem

2 0 Reply
jimmy sav 12 December 2018

this poem was very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very

6 1 Reply
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Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy

Glasgow / Scotland
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