"Poppies" and "War Photographer": a Comparison of War Poems

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About this sample


Words: 514 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: May 19, 2020

Words: 514|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: May 19, 2020

To analyze the bright examples of war poetry, "Poppies" and "War Photographer", a comparison of the two poems will be presented in this essay.

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In Poppies, Jane Weir uses color and texture imagery to symbolize how she reminisces of her son and her experiences in past times. 'An ornamental stitch' gives connotations of clothing and textiles. 'Stitch' is a metaphor which illustrates how closely bonded the mother and son were together, as their bond stitches together and they grew so close to each other during her son's childhood. Furthermore, the poet uses textile imagery throughout the poem to tell the reader how she is constantly remembering his uniform. A quote that shows this is 'spasms of paper red' which is another metaphor which uses color imagery to present an image of blood and gore. 'Paper' could insinuate how disposable the soldiers are by the perspective of civilians who take them for granted.

In War Photographer, Carol Ann Duffy uses similar techniques to emphasize the suffering in the photos he has taken. 'All flesh is grass' also uses a metaphor which presents a comparable connotation. This quote refers to the numerous amounts of death and destruction that take place in war, and how the dead bodies layer the earth in comparison to grass, this is related to the connotations of blood and gore displayed in Poppies. Weir frequently combines domestic language and military imagery in order to incorporate her grief into everyday actions, which conveys how this has overtaken her life and that this is how she views simple domestic actions.

Dramatic monologue is used in order to explore the mother's thoughts and feelings and grab the readers attention. 'Sellotape bandaged around my hand' highlights how such simple tasks can be given military connotations. 'bandages' suggest wounded soldiers, which could insinuate the mother's emotional wounds. The poet also effectively conveys how damaging the son's exit is from her mother's life by using military imagery such as 'spasms' and 'graze' to connote suffering. This, however, is contrasted in War Photographer as Duffy presents how isolated people can be from the emotions felt by the photographer. 'he earns his living and they do not care' conveys how the public separates themselves from the horror and conflict of war, this is supported by the quote ' Rural England' which uses caesura to emphasize the shift in pace as the focus turns on the reactions of the public, who are negligent and nonchalant. The mood and tone in the two poems are similar as they convey feelings of grief through imagery and rhythm throughout both poems.

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Overall, despite the fact that both War Photographer and Poppies show to the reader that the effects of war and conflict are uncontrollable, War Photographer focuses less on how emotions can overcome your conscience, and more on the idea that people are separating themselves from the suffering and struggles, whereas Poppies focuses on how those who are not directly involved in war are emotionally monopolized by the effects of conflict. Nevertheless, both poems successfully highlight the significant influence of remembering such sombre events in history.


  1. Dowson, J., & Dowson, J. (2016). Voices from the 1980s and After. Carol Ann Duffy: Poet for Our Times, 87-121. (
  2. Hughes-Edwards, M. (2006). ‘The House […] has Cancer’: Representations of Domestic Space in the Poetry of Carol Ann Duffy. In Our House (pp. 121-139). Brill. (
  3. Dimarco, D. (1998). Exposing Nude Art: Carol Ann Duffy's Response to Robert Browning. Mosaic: A journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature, 25-39. (
  4. Schweik, S. (1987). Writing war poetry like a woman. Critical Inquiry, 13(3), 532-556. (
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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Comparison Between War Photography (Carol Duffy) and Poppies (Jane Weir). (2023, February 28). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 16, 2024, from
“Comparison Between War Photography (Carol Duffy) and Poppies (Jane Weir).” GradesFixer, 28 Feb. 2023,
Comparison Between War Photography (Carol Duffy) and Poppies (Jane Weir). [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 16 Jul. 2024].
Comparison Between War Photography (Carol Duffy) and Poppies (Jane Weir) [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 28 [cited 2024 Jul 16]. Available from:
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