The poem is written by Carol Ann Duffy (1955- present). Her poems often explore real events, including dramatizing events from childhood and adolescence. She states “I like to use simple words, but in a complicated way”.
In the 1970s Carol Ann Duffy was friendly with Don McCullin, a famous photographer whose photographs of war were widely published.
The poem explores the dual role of being a War Photographer, having to take pictures of terrible suffering without being able to help. The gap between these sufferings and those viewing the poems is explored through the perspective of a photographer.
The poem explores the war photographer’s conflict when he develops his photographs and how the memories of war haunt him. His personal experiences contrast with the general apathy of the British public, in their comparatively safe environment.
- Horrors of war
- Indifference to suffering
- Personal pain and guilt
- Motif of religion