War Photographer

War_Photographer_posterBefore we analyse another poem by Carol Ann Duffy, entitled “War Photographer”, I would like you to watch the following two videos and take notes as to the difficulties of being a war photographer, the important lesson they learn about the war that cannot be possibly rendered or disclosed by a photograph. In your opinion what is the objective of a museum dedicated to war photography? What role can role photography play in denouncing and thus opposing wars?

War Photographer by Carol Ann Duffy

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 out five or six
for Sunday’s supplement. The reader’s eyeballs prick
with tears between bath and pre-lunch beers.
From aeroplane he stares impassively at where
he earns a living and they do not care.

What do you think of this creative video? Do you find it effective? Does it help the understanding of the poem?

Now listen to the analysis and explanation of the poem. Were you right in your considerations? What are the aspects you could not grasp by yourself? Why?

If you were asked to write a catchy phrase to summarize the core concept of this poem, what would it be?

Why do you think I decided to conclude our project on World War One with this poem?
Do you approve of this choice? Why (not)?

Have fun with this quiz!



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68 risposte a War Photographer

  1. Elisa Angelica Farinola scrive:

    War Photographer

    I think it should be very difficult to be a war photographer. You have to stay there and take pictures of dead people when maybe the only thing you want is escaping from these awful places. Yes, some people may say it could be great and exciting but when you face death, and you could be wounded and die too, that is the moment when you realize how war is hard and makes men suffering and miserable.

    I visited a museum of war photography a few months ago, the war photographer was Robert Kapa. He taught me through his images how the soldiers suffered and also other people around them, like the wives at home and the children. In the photographies you can catch their expression crossing their eyes, or you may ask yourself questions like “Who is it?”, “How this could be possible?” or “This is what they feel like?”.

    So the museums have the objective to make people thinking about what war is. Even though it is not the same thing that living this kind of events in the reality. The soldiers do not see the same things, and furthermore they hear sounds, because “war is audio”, like the video said, and it is made also of smells. These two senses are not evinced by photographies, we can only try to imagine how they could be like. Another objective of war photographers, just like war poets, is denouncing war, like a visual manifesto, more direct, because war has to stop, we have to oppose war: war is horrible, war is pain, war is suffering, is tears and crying out for justice.

  2. Elisa Angelica Farinola scrive:

    War Phtographer by Carol Ann Duffy

    This creative video is very touching. It is effective because images can underline the words and make us comprehend better the poem, rendering it closer to us. It helps a little to understand the poem but not all the parts, because of the metaphors. A deeper analysis could be even more useful, especially for foreign people just like me.

    Yes, I was right with my considerations. Now with this analysis I understood better the intent of the poetess. The aspects I had not grasp by myself are the metaphors and the symbolic words. This also because I have not caught the irony and the pessimistic view of Duffy.

    A phrase I would use to summarize the concept of this poem could be “How do we feel being there”. I think you decided this poem to conclude our project on World War I because it implies us to take a part. I approve with this choice, and I think that anyway it is difficult to be at war, even for a photographer. A lot of them died there and their job is brave and honorable. It is also useful, very useful, even if someone may not be totally convinced. Be there must be 100 times worse, of course.

  3. Giulia Fren scrive:

    War photographer:
    The poem consists in 4 stanzas of six lines. there is a contraposition between its rigid structure and the repetitive images described in the poem. It seems that the photographer is trying to create an order in this confusing world. This type of photographers is requested to be able to work under a strong pressure. the poem is full of images of human sufferings, and the last vision is similar to a photograph, representing the journalist, who escaping from those horrors and landscape, goes on with his next job. At the beginning there is a comparison between the photographer and a priest; in doing his job he uses the same care and respect of a priest while preparing for communion. Moreover the photographer, like the priest, faces everyday sufferings and death. The predominant colour is red: it is connected both to the presence of Christ and to the blood. A war photographer must be able to accept these visions in his job, exactly like a priest. actually these war photos become the symbol of the contraposition with the beliefs of the Church. the last line of the 1st stanza is taken from the New Testament and conveys the idea of the fragility of life. perhaps the photograph hopes that his pictures could put an end to the conflict, because they show all the tragic events of the war. it is meaningful, that his hands are trembling in developing his photos, while they aren’t in the act of taking them. this happens because during his job he must defend himself from the horrors around him, but in the darkroom he returns to be a man shocked by those atrocities. the photo of the children escaping from an attack in Vietnam should let us realize our indifference towards the misery of war. the next image is the one of a dying man, seen as a ghost. as the photograph couldn’t speak the man’s language, he looked for understanding in the wife’s eyes. there is again an analogy between the photographer and the priest, because both of them must be close to dying human beings. we find Duffy’s comment about the way in which the receivers of these photos, this means the readers and the careless editors, react in front of them. the photographer leaves for another “mission” with the awareness that nothing will change despite his photos. what I perceive from this poem is both the horror of war and the indifference of people, which is becoming deeper and deeper. in my opinion Duffy is trying to point out that all the humans have become indifferent towards the victims of the war, as if they didn’t have an identity.
    If you were asked to write a catchy phrase to summarize the core concept of this poem, what would it be?
    “the war photographer: the bridge between agony and apathy of mankind towards war”
    Why do you think I decided to conclude our project on World War One with this poem?
    Do you approve of this choice? Why (not)?
    I think you decided to conclude our project on World War One with this poem, because the mere reading from book-schools about this terrible conflict could let us learn the most important events, dates and commanders’ name who took part into the war, but wouldn’t permit us to realize the real meaning of war. It is connected with pain, sufferings, atrocity, hopes, disillusionment, death, sense of loss and decay, that aren’t transmitted by the pages of an history book. Through this poem I have seen death in its eyes, I have felt deep emotions and my sense of awareness has increased. I have heard hundreds of times about war, but I have always thought it was difficult and even boring studying it. The reality was far from my heart and I hadn’t realized that behind the pure facts there were dying men and destroyed souls. This poem has particularly affected my heart and mind, because the description of the photographer’s job, who is obliged to detach himself from the misery around him, to take pictures speaking about horror and death, has become a bridge between me and those people, not guilty but condemned to live (or to die) in a hell. The poem has conveyed me a sense of pity for the photographer, because he can’t live a normal life after having experienced those crimes against nature. It doesn’t allow me (and I hope the society, too) to keep a distance from the realities of war. The photographer is alone in his room, he must carry his weight all by himself.
    Yes, I approve your choice, because you have taught us not to keep a distance from the harsh reality of war, but to be closer to the war victims. And what I liked the most in the poem was the image of the “running children”, which shows how innocent creatures are the real victims. I admire your choice, most of all for the message you want to transmit us: particularly at the end of the poem, when ann carol duffy writes about the photograph’s editor, who will choose five or six images, as if suffering could be reduced to numbers, destroying, in so doing, the true horror of it. I can sayyou have showed us the street to follow to become better people. Thanks!

  4. Leonardo Bidoia scrive:

    War Photographer
    I think the real purpose of the museum dedicated to war photography is disclosed, put in front of the eyes of society the tragedies and horrors that happen in war and all the wounds, physical and moral leaves on the people involved.
    In particular, the photograph can make you smile like crying, can in this case send any kind of feeling through a single picture, and it is for this reason that, in my opinion, it is so appreciated.
    This video tells very well the work of war photographers, work hard and dangerous, but at the same time rewarding and moving, which also decide to risk their lives to capture the important moments to understand what really happens in war. I have also appreciated it impressed me because it describes both images with words the harshness of war.

  5. jessica scrive:

    I think a museum dedicated to war photography is an important way of communicaion that gave all people the possibility to see what happens during a conflict. Everybody know what wars imply, but seing it through real and contemporary images is very impactive; images can really render the reality of a violence we’re not directly used to experience and let us know damages and pains played up by this kind of situations. The power of war photogaphy consists in revealing realities so far by ourselves. Through this powerful means, war photography has the possibility to join the part of the world not involved in the conflict to cooperate in order to oppose to wars, for example with campaigns to sensitze indvduals or wtih fund-raising pojects to help damaged population starting to build a new life.
    Carol ann duffy’s poem desclose through powerful images, the suffering that afflicts war photographers in doing their difficoult job. The video following the poem is very useful to clarify many poem’s passages and understanding it is very simple: sometimes one image can illustrate better than thousand words.
    The analysis and explanation of the poem desclosed a lot of aspects I did not understand at first: the reference to different religions (line 6), the similitude between solutions to war’s problems and soluion as the chemical used to develop photographs, the trembling due to the affection caused by what the photographer has seen, and the image that really stroke me of black and white as right or wrong. There is one deeper passage I didn’t completely get: the issue about the indifference of people at home and the abuse of alcool in order to escape war’s sufference and at the end, the accuse to the reader for being so passive.
    All these concepts cuold be collected into one sentence: the only war to fight in the one against indifference, it kills more than weapons.
    According to the powerful role of war photography/photographer, I think the choice to conclude our project on world war one with this poem is very useful to leave us the mark of a concrete issue, something we don’t find only printed in books pages and to remind us that conflicts are not end and that we can’t live as we don’t matter about it.

  6. Giulia Marson scrive:

    The picture is a language and has the purpose to say better what the words don’t succeed in explaining. Through the pictures people realize the cruelty and the suffering of the war because we can see it and not only hear it for example by the soldiers that are in mission. In my opinion the purpose of the photographic museums is that to avoid that other people can feel the same pain reported in the pictures and above all to remember.They are a way to make people aware of the consequences of wars. Thanks to the pictures people can see a reality they can’t even imagine. The importance of the war pictures is that they show the pain, the suffering, the poverty that a war inevitably brings. Moreover they show the other faces of the medal because the photographers take pictures of civils and in this way people can identify themselves with them and really understand the war

  7. Sara Nicastro scrive:

    1) a museum dedicated to war photography should
    help us understanding what war is, because for civialians
    it is hard to imagine. In my opinion war photgraphy opposes itself to
    the concept we have of war, the one of the movies or novels, which
    is always in some manner a fiction. Photography can be more objective than words,
    and it clears that war is not nor honour nor pride, just desolation

    2) This creative video is effective because it’s made of appropriate
    images. Trough watching it the poetry does not slip away but remains in mind.

    3) The video remembered me that for every photograph there is a photographer.
    When I see a photo, expecially the ones with suffering people or
    bad situations, I do not think about the person who took the photo. I didn’t grasp the
    meaning of darkroom (which is the place but even the coscience of the photographer).
    I didn’t know that “all flesh is grass” is a Bible quotation.
    I didn’t thought that there are different types of pain (ordinary and extraordinary)
    because I am just exposed to the ones of the world that surrounds me, a world not in war.

    A phrase to summarize: one snapshot, innumerable choices.

  8. Veronica P. scrive:

    Being a photographer of war is a very important role. He testified of the great horror of death and war. For me it was very difficult to watch these videos full of photos and hallucinatory scenes that make you shiver. Also the background music is very sad and melancholy. I believe that a museum dedicated to photographs of war serves to bear witness to the atrocities experienced that reading a text image so strong. These are images that I remain impressed by such strong and violent they are. They also serve to denounce and then oppose the war that serves no purpose. We visited the museum of photos of war by Robert Capa and I think some of the scenes I will remain forever .
    The poem “War photographer” by Carol Ann Duffy is a bit difficult to understand but with the video was a little easier because having the images below makes easier to understand what does it mean. But for me the video analysis was the most useful because it explains verse by verse the meaning of the poem, it explains the rhetorical figures present and adds pictures and additional explanations so I am able to understand more the meaning of the poem. A phrase that could sum up everything I think it’s the horror and atrocities of war. In addition, it is fair to conclude my second project of the First World War with this poem and I approve this choice because even if it is difficult for me to understand a lot, it’s useful to refer to a war photographer that allows us to analyze more closely the situation .

  9. Francesca Lovisa scrive:

    War Photographer

    The objective of a museum dedicated to war photography is to expose people to the atrocities that often we have little to no knowledge about. Photography has always helped us understand conflicts in a way newspapers never could, some things can’t be described by words only and a museum about war, with its many different photos is able to take us to the battlefield with the soldiers.
    Photography can play an important role in denouncing and opposing wars as media attention has often contributed to a more effective diffusion of knowledge and thus increasing antiwar movements.

    Carol Ann Duffy

    I do not find the first video very effective as I often focus on the song instead of reading the poem, and the images do not always fit with the poem and what the writer is describing or actually meaning with those words, making it confusing to understand.

    I was not completely right in my considerations, I did not grasp some of the irony Duffy uses in each stanza, especially in line 6, because I was not aware of the many tragedies that affected those cities.

    I would summarize the core concept with: “The blood shed in battle hits our indifference without leaving any mark behind.”

    I think this was the right way to conclude this project because, most of the time, we forget to mention these heroic people who risked their own lives to make the atrocities of The Great War known to the whole world, and this poem not only talks about them but also questions us about what we should do with this newfound knowledge.

  10. Chiara scrive:

    I think it’s right to found a museum dedicated to photography, it is an art that is not considered sufficiently . The war photography is also one of the most important arts because it shows the world all the sufference and pain, the horror and injustice made by the men to people that live far away in the safety of the city. In addition we are often unaware of what really happens in countries of war since everything is trivialized and in this way a picture is worth than a thousand words.

    The video is very interesting and in my opinion it strikes especially with photos of children. It is useful to understand how to face the fact that the war can affect anyone , from whites to blacks , from the rich to the poor and those who aren’t luckier than others.

    War photographers witnesses a daily horror but at the same time unknown

    I approve the choice of this poem because it summarizes what war really is and what causes, such as acts in the world , without distinction but only linked to the desire of
    man’s domination and the people often remain silent instead of getting up and oppose it.

  11. Tommaso scrive:

    A place where we can remember of what a war leaves behind. A place where there is no sound there is no smell, there’s only silence a cold silence. Photos around us showing fear, tragedy and horror. through the work of the a war photographer we can feel the emotions ofthose who are left alone without any help, of those who fight for what is called a “better future”. The only things that I can see is hate, these photos should make us understand that wars are useless, but unfortunately mandkind isn’t ready for such a change.
    The video describing the poem of Duffy is perfect, it reflects the power of a war and how far away some are from it. How a war usually doesn’t seem to exist for the major part of the people. In fact who is not involved in a war doesn’t understand or better doesn’s care. But then can we all just sit in our cosy homes without doing anything while others are dying? and looking closer to the video we can see how much people suffer, especially children who are the ones who can not fight for themselves.
    I think I quite understood the meaning of the poem, the intense of the war. I had difficulty in understanding the line talking about the priest and how he is related to the war, and then how canpain be ordinary…
    The sentence I chose is. ….How the blood stained into foreign dust”
    Concluding our project with tis poem is reminding us of what has happened and what is happening throughout the world and how important a photo can be. A photo shot made in a second that lasts a life time.
    Choosing this poem was the correct way of making us all understand what a war is like and how lucky we are!

  12. Simona Mastrapasqua scrive:

    1-2) War is a devastating event because in all cases costs the death of many men. Michael Kamber and Louie Palu exhibited a museum dedicated to this terrifying event. There can be several objectives to make public the excruciating images: one of this is certainly to inform and tell different stories of every man that a war implies; or to witness not only a war, in which partecipating you acquire honor, but for which you loose most of your life. Even if you survive , you have left scars both physical and on the “heart”. To see so much violece can cause mental disorders, shock and insomnia. However in my opinion the main purpose is to show what usually was not photographed, which includes a negative part , for example horrors, but also moments of “free time”. Even Robert Capa was an excellent war photographer and I was impressed by his citation : “The best picture, the best propaganda is the truth”. Honestly it was difficult for me to watch videos, because they are loads of images hard to digest. I really felt a sense of malaise, but I did it because there aren’t things you can ignore.

    3) The creative video about poem of Carol And Duffy is very interesting. First of all I tried to translate the poem, but I admit thah I understand more watching this video, because the combination of words and pictures made me better realize the references.
    4) Yes, I noticed from the video that I made the right considerations about the photographer, who has a compromise, that is if he wants to capture those excruciating images, somehow had to partecipate in the war. But the aspect that I had not realized is the irony, which was used by Carol And Duffy. She utilize words that have a religious meaning, so they are linked to the peace, but in this case nothing is calm and spiritual, there is only destruction.
    5) The phrase that can sum up this poem is: “The photographer is the intermediaty between the suffering of the victims and the apathy of the rest of humanity”.
    6) I liked to conclude whit the role of photographer, who has a role of witness. But after having studied this character and all the victims in trenches, I would like understand more about the part of indifferent people. The reasons for the censure and this attitude.

  13. Andrea Moras scrive:

    This creative video is a cute video, it can be very effective with children. Also for the adults can be a help, but not such a big help. We were not right in our considerations beacuse the photos that represent disperation and horryfing things didn’t give for the humanity a social consciousness. I cannot grasp a very few terms of the video because they are much more difficult than the others. The core concept of the poem is the destruction and bloodshed which results from war and how apathetic and uncaring the rest of the world, who is not directly affected by it, is. I think this theme couldn’t not be in our project, it is the worthy end. I approve with this choice because we have had in the past themes like racism and apartheid and war is the much more strong discrimination in the world.

  14. Luana scrive:


    The war museums serve not to forget the agonies suffered by soldiers in the first place but also of the people who lived during that period that was not easy . The photographers who went to the front to do their job because they knew that they risked a lot probably would not return home, and if they returned from their wives , would relive those terrible moments . The use of the photographic medium in fact assumes great importance for strategic, tactical , documentaries and propaganda . The armies engaged in conflicts possessed of special departments , can always count on technical innovations and progress. Moreover, even the soldiers themselves had cameras. The use of photography as a witness to the events, large and small , in every moment of vueita then allows us to see with our own eyes the agony but also the famous Christmas Truce of documents but they were also ” private sphere ” of the war , the setting in memory of his own personal experience , somehow reassuring messages to be sent to families , or as photos to be taken into account as in the case of a non-return from the war. Important was the work of Robert Capa . In December we were at the show at the Villa Manin which collected about three hundred photos in which you could gather all the agony of the soldiers, civilians or wives who saw their husbands leave for the war. Images also strong that lead the mind to which moments of suffering also because in the wars documented by Capa, mostly civilians, including children were seen with guns in hand ripped to the loving care of their family.
    The war museums serve not to forget the agonies suffered by soldiers in the first place but also of the people who lived during that period that was not easy . The photographers who went to the front to do their job because they knew that they risked a lot probably would not return home, and if they returned from their wives , would relive those terrible moments . The use of the photographic medium in fact assumes great importance for strategic, tactical , documentaries and propaganda . The armies engaged in conflicts possessed of special departments , can always count on technical innovations and progress. Moreover, even the soldiers themselves had cameras. The use of photography as a witness to the events, large and small , in every moment of vueita then allows us to see with our own eyes the agony but also the famous Christmas Truce of documents but they were also ” private sphere ” of the war , the setting in memory of his own personal experience , somehow reassuring messages to be sent to families , or as photos to be taken into account as in the case of a non-return from the war. Important was the work of Robert Capa . In December we were at the show at the Villa Manin which collected about three hundred photos in which you could gather all the agony of the soldiers, civilians or wives who saw their husbands leave for the war. Images also strong that lead the mind to which moments of suffering also because in the wars documented by Capa, mostly civilians, including children were seen with guns in hand ripped to the loving care of their family. CA Duffy’s poem speaks of a photographer, while developing photos of the conflict, recalls. The red light of the darkroom to see the blood from the battlefield where the presence of blood flowing from the wounds of the soldiers was very present and for this there is the reference to the lawn because the red blood covered him completely, and the ‘grass had taken on a reddish those steeped in pain, suffering and blood of the allies could not be distinguished from that of the enemy because it was a part of the pain was the same, despite the nationality. The pain that the photographer will always remember even if it’s home. His hands are shaking. His hands stop shaking when it is concentrated in his work. The tremble because, despite being at home, it is still alive the memory of the land jumping in the air under his feet and tries to escape as when you run into a nightmare in slow motion whether you are adult child. When it begins to appear the figure of a man is weak, almost evanescent, and reminds him of a ghost, the photographer’s mind immediately think of the wife of the fallen that will suffer the loss of her husband in a foreign territory and therefore can not mourn the deceased . And this pain the photographer will prove it a thousand times, once for each photo, because he knows that the high number of images will be chosen only a few or a few more plants to be drunk by a reader on a Sunday morning. However you have to ignore everything because it’s his job, he guadaña to live like this, and the readers and the publisher does not care about the personal pain behind those pictures because it’s just propaganda.The juxtaposition of images with text and music exemplify the whole giving it a strong emotional and meaningful.

  15. Basma Saykouk scrive:

    The objective of a museum dedicated to a war photography is to show history with another point of view,using powerful photographs,that are the images of horror misery and suffering, that are the proof that history repeats itself. Photography in fact is able to immortalize violence,tears of suffering and pain. Photography nowadays is one of the most important tools that help us to know about different situations of war in other nations that are far from us, in fact it can be easily shared in social networks and websites,so everyone of us can access these images. The experience of Michael Kamber in Iraq;teaches us that photography is able to tell us the untold story of massacre and pain,and that they risk their lives to tell the world the atrocity of war. While the experience of Louie Palu teaches us that photography is unable to immortalize and transmit us the reality of combat and war :the sound of the violent attacks,hate,people screaming and blood and the smell of the war.I find very effective the video on Ann Cliff’s poem, “War photographer” because it
    explains the meaning of the poem using strong and powerful photographs.
    In the poem of Ann Cliff thanks to the explaining video I understand that the “darkroom” ,place of development of the photographs is also a metaphor that indicates the dark part in the mind of the photographer. The “red” light it’s the moment of the definitive development of the photography;while is also a metaphor to indicate blood and death. In these verses of the first stanza Ann Cliff say: ” The only light is red and softly glows,as though this were a church and he a priest preparing to intone a Mass”,the poet is compared to a priest that is doing a solemn work;for the hole humanity. And maybe this can be a complaint to Catholicism,that can not give any solutions to this violences staying impassive in front of horror massacres.
    In stanza two;the photographer is described as masochist (“ordinary pain”) because his job is to observe people suffering;but in the same time he is risking his life. And all the cruel images that he has photographed stay eternal in his memory. He is haunted by these ghosts,in his conscience. But his role is fundamental: he might stay impassive without emotion and solutions but he is actually doing something while “OTHERS DO NOT CARE”. My catchy phrase to summarize the core concept of this poem is:” Hundred untold agonies in a photography”.

    In my opinion to read the poem of Ann Cliff “War Photographer” is the better way to conclude our project on World War. In fact we learn that history can be taught and testified with photography,that immortalize the face of a soldier; the moment of happiness of solders,the face of a sad child or an ailing.
    I enjoyed this poem,because it shows that photography speaks to everyone of us,even if it is black and white; it screams and cries in face of those who want to listen,read,understand and hear it.

  16. Mattia De Camillis Baiocchi scrive:

    A museum dedicated to war photography has the objective of explain what kind of job is that one of war photographers. Through a museum all the stories of these photographers can be combined to explain what are the feelings of these people, how their life is structured and the most important is the life that they described throughout their photos.
    Photography especially the one that explains the war can denunciate what that war is and how that is going on. This is an important point of view that can make the difference and that can help people to open their eyes through things that they doesn’t know or that they reputate not so much important.
    This video helps the reader of the poetry to live more the themes of the poem. Carol Ann Duffy casts a light on the destruction and bloodshed which results from war and how apathetic is the rest of the world that isn’t directly affected by it.
    Through images the reader is helped to understand the message of the poem, images of sofferences and destruction make this reading more emotive and involving.
    I think that I understand right that the poem talks about war photographers, just from the title, but reading the poem the poet explains his vision of war photographer. I missed this thing like others referred to the history and referred to the contestualisation of the poem.
    The other thing that I could not grasp through myself is the use of irony. I think that I couldn’t achieve these things because I haven’t now a schematic view of the writer’s style and about the contestualisation in the WWI.
    The phrase that I could use to define the core concept of this poem is “back in the future” especially referred to the third stanza.
    Finally I think that is a good way conclude our project on the WWI with this poem, because with the point of view of war photographers we analysed all the figures that are engaged in the WWI.

  17. Lucrezia scrive:


    I think the idea of museum dedicated to war photography is an important way not to forget the brutality of war; it is useful to make people aware of what happened in the past and as a warning in order not to repeat the same mistakes. Photos are evidence of the past history and we can’t forget or pretend that the First World War and other wars have existed…there are testimonials… This is more important than ever bacause future generations have to learn from the mistakes not to commit them again.
    If we think about it, this is what Nietzsche said . He stated that we have to forget about the past because otherwise we won’t make any kind of progress, but at the same time history is extremly powerful : it is a sort of master of life, and we have to use it to improve our life without making the same mistakes of the past. And War is one of these, perhaps the worst.
    So, to draw conclusions, in my opinion museums dedicated to war photography play an important role in denouncing war that can be considered a crime against humanity.
    We can understand it by reading the poem “War Photographer “ .

    “ War photographer “ is a poem made of feelings, sad feelings: suffering, pain. It is a “Fun of Emotions” that makes the reader understand ( psychologically speaking), the difficulties of doing such a job. The poem is not too difficult as far as the language is concerned but it is full of metaphors and sounds that at the beginning are not so simply to understand. When I watched the video in which there is the explanation of the poem, I discover some new aspects I was not able to grasp by myself. For example : the alliteration of the “ s” that could be a soothing sound but it sybolizes the horror of war, the fact that the red light can also reminds him of a church in which he feel like a priest preparing for a mass funeral.

    By watching the videos we can understand the horror of war and the suffering of a person who works as a war photographer. A war photographer collects all the horrors of war in the camera.. But there is a problem.. the camera as if it were his mind. He is surrounded by suffer and pain and he feels responsable of these atrocities because he is there with the camera and have to immortalize those terrible moments. He has to search for the picture he think he can publish, he suffer for his friends that die under his eyes and feel the pain as if he was dying himself. In the videos we can see some bloody images that make me flesh creep but then in the third video we can see that there is a gleam of hope. I found the song very powerful, it was a good choice that song of Michael Jackson for the video. In that video to my mind the author wants to underline that we can change the world but only if we believe in it, because we are beautiful creature that are able to fight wars but even to stop violence. The song is as if God wants us to stop wars because he gave life to us. So, He is the personification of Good and he wants that all human beings live in peace. Lucrezia 5F

  18. Elena Ghersetti scrive:

    1) A museum about war photography can be useful to show the reality of war, with no filter, with all the facets that a conflict may have: the convivial moments of the soldiers, the dead, the suffering, the moments of alarm, the games of children and so. It can be a good way to understand the hidden aspects of which the newspapers do not speak. A museum on war photography can also open our eyes on what really lives a photographer who find himself in a situation of war, facing problems of consciousness and trying to come out alive from the dangers.
    2) In my opinion, the creative video is not that impressive. The music is not adequate for certain passages. The images help to understand better the poem, but some are misplaced.
    3) I really enjoyed the analysis. It is complete and explains things that are not immediately detectable. Some examples are the figures of speech that are used ironically (like the alliteration); the references to the Bible and the emphasis on the behavior of the Church during the war. It is also highlighted the behavior of the war photographer, that wonders whether is it right to participate to these crimes and doing nothing. His behavior is juxtaposed to the behavior of the reader that looks at these pictures on Sunday insert and seems to be moved by them, but in fact does nothing to change the situation and immediately forgets about it.
    4) The war photographer asks himself whether is it right to watch without interfering; the Sunday insert’s reader asks himself whether is it right to watch war photos while drinking a beer. (I fear I did not hit the point, but I was not able to think of something catchier!).
    5) You may have decided to close the project with this poem, in order to give us a different view of the war, and to disclose little known aspects of it. I approve of this choice, especially since I enjoyed very much Carol Ann Duffy’s poems.

  19. Riccardo Sartori scrive:

    1)In my own opinion, war photography has a huge role in our society, especially nowadays with the television, computer, internet and social network, due to know some aspects that we can’t never discover by reading newspaper article. A photo taking during the action of a soldier, of a commander or of an entire army, can make us reflect about the drama of that particular moment, as if we were involved in the actions. Through war photography, artist can denounce the horrors of the war, opposing it, portraiting the desperation on the soldier’s faces, reporting even the fact that they are all human beings, all fellows, but the commanders treated the soldiers as machines, even if they need to reassure them, as if they were older brother. Than, war photography can be use for propaganda both in favour and against the war. It can be use as one of the means used by States due to enlist more and more people in the army. It can also be use for make you think about the real dangerousness of the war, including the meaningless killing of fellows and even the hugeness damage on the Earth( as A.Einstein said in one of his most famous sentence).

    2)I think that is an effective video, because the images, associated with the key words can clarify the meaning of the Carol Ann Duffy’s poem. Even the use of the song “We are the world” is extremely guessed. In fact, even if a great number of authors compose this song to the victims of Haiti’s earthquake, the words used can be refered also to war; one example, which can be associated even to Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, is at the end of the song: “let’s realize that a change can only come when we stand together as one”, which can be an advice and a teaching to human beings.

    3) There were some aspects of the poem that I didn’t grasp by myself. For example the reference to the religion in the first stanza, when Carol Ann Duffy speaks about “the priest preparing to a Mass”; I didn’t understand that it was a sort of critique against the church. Another aspect is the one of “they” in the final stanza, which referred to English citizen. I thought it relates to the soldiers. I I have to summarize this poem with a catchy phrase, maybe I said: “ The ambiguos attitude of war photographers”.

    4) I appreciate this side of the war narrated by C.A.Duffy, because it is a less heavy and a more involving topic of the World War I, although it’s one of the important passages of the battle, generally speaking. Even the neutral vision of the war photographer told by the poet, may be associated, unfortunately, with the vision of some human beings about some wars, which don’t interest them, as if the wars are differently classified.

  20. Emanuele scrive:

    I think that the objective of a museum dedicated to war photography is to commemorate the highlights and all the aspects, positive and negative, of the conflicts.
    The observer should create relationships between photos and the historical reality, in order to understand the real meaning of a war. To do this the graphic “route” must be well structured to help people understanding the photos and the links that bind.
    I mean that a mashup of various photos cannot be called a photography museum.

    Sincerely I did not find the video really effective. Some pictures are touching but the rest of it are obvious photos, which can I find on “Google Images”.
    Moreover it was difficult to me to understand the link between the music and the poem.
    “War Photographer” by Ann Carol Duffy describes certain pains of the war, instead the song has ALMOST a religious meaning (it is a spiritual); but reading carefully the poem I noticed that in the fourth verse there is a connection to the religiosity. Moreover the poet quotes “Belfast, Beirut and Phnom Penh” which are places where happened religious wars. So at the end I understand the link but it is not so obvious.
    Nevertheless the images create a visual effect which renders the poem easier to remember.

    More or less I was right with my considerations. Obviously watching the video I realized that I lost in the poem a lot of important aspects. For example I did not understand the metaphorical meaning of “darkroom” which symbolised the darkness in War Photographer’s mind.
    Moreover I did not grasp that in life we have ordinary pains and what Carol Ann Duffy wants to underline are, on the contrary, the ones the war brings. (line 10).

    “A War Photographer is a kind of sniper, who has to wait in the dark in order to shoot the perfect snap”.

    I think You decided to conclude our “percorso” on World War One in this way, because I believe that most of us know what a war is. Telling You “what a war is”, I realize that probably I am telling You a huge lie. In fact who am I to understand deeply how a war make you feel? Nobody. I can try to sniff the smell in the trenches, to listen the boom of a mine, a scream of pain.. but I am incapable to feel the excruciating pains that soldier felt every single day.
    In my opinion this is the particular aspect of this poem. You cannot understand the real meaning if you read it only once. We have to read it millions of time. We have to think millions of time, before grasp what fight in “the first line” means. Furthermore, I am convinced that persevering in the thought is the right way to make the memory recent.

    Emanuele Li Calzi VF.

  21. Valentina Porro scrive:

    • I think that the object of a museum dedicated to war photography is that of showing the reality. The tv news shows us only some images about the wars there are worldwide. I am sure that what we can watch on television is only a small part of what really happens. Through photos people can live on the struggling moments that the photographer had seen with his own eyes. The war photographer is someone that lives what the people that are leading the war are living. He has an important role: he can denounce war by using his camera. The war photographer is able to reveal the idea of War that people have. I have got, like many people, the opportunity and the luck of living in a country where there is not a war and I think that I cannot really image what fighting a war and living in country destroyed by wars means. So I think that a museum dedicated to war photography can have an important role in the education of people.
    • I think that this creative video is a little bit confusing. There are too images and the spectator cannot focus on the text of the poem. However I think that some images are useful because they help the spectator to understand the meaning of the word or of the phrase that the poet had used.
    • I was right in my considerations because I was able to spot some rhetoric images. For example I had noticed that some words have got a double meaning: one is linked to photography and one is linked to the image of war. The aspects that I could not grasp by myself were the link with religion and the purpose of alliteration. I did not understand that the third line “as though this were a church and he a priest preparing to intone a Mass” was linked to the fifth one “Belfast. Beirut. Phnom Penh. All flesh is grass”. In fact the poet made that list of City’s name because in those countries there were religious wars. Moreover, thanks to this analysis, I learnt that the alliterations gave to the poem an ironic meaning. Finally I had not understood that the phrase “ black and white”, which appears in the first line of the last stanza, stands for “what is wrong and what is right”.
    • “A poem is something that lasts forever, is something eternal. It is something that helps people express something ineffable. Also photos lasts forever. They are able to frozen time. To depict the unimaginable.”
    • I think that you decide to conclude our school project with this poem because it is linked with photography and usually we make photos at the end of an important event. I love making photos and photography is one of the many medium that we can use to stop and to remember some important moments. Moreover I approve this choice because it can also be a link with the first issue that we had tackled : the war poets. I think that photography can become the poetry of the 21th century, because, like poetry, it is a form of art and it has got the same purpose as poetry, that is turning something momentary into eternal.

  22. Valentina Paronuzzi scrive:

    Have a museum dedicated to war photography is meaningful to me because with the picture you can understand what is really going on during a war. Moreover a photographer can take a photo of a moment that expresses the real substance of a war, like desperation and the loss of everything.
    Other war pictures represent the soldiers behaving like normal people in daily life: they stay toghether, brushing their teeth, joking.
    But this is not the true face of war: it is fighting, screams, blood. And this is what a picture should represent.
    In this way the photographer can make people reflect upon these themes and maye war can be stopped.

    I didn’t like so much the video of ”War Photographer” with the images and I think it is not so much effective, maybe for the song’s choice. But some images are very powerful to understand the poem: like the ones of ”Belfast” ”Beirut” and ”Phnom Penh” that I personally didn’t know.
    Other impressive pictures are the ones of the black skinny child, that is then compared to the white children that run cheerfully on the grass.
    I think this video help me to understand better the poem but I didn’t like it so much.

    The aspects I could not grasp of the poem was the fact that the poet denounces religion, because it allows war to continue and I didn’ t know anything of the wars in Beirut, Belfast and Phnom Penh.
    The last thing I didn’t grasp in the sentence ”The reader’s eyeballs prick with tears between bath and pre-lunch beers” was that it means that the readers want to wash away the horrors of the war’s images, because they are far away, and these things do not affect them.
    The phrase to summarize the core concept of this poem could be:
    ”Man closes his eyes to what scares him, when it should open them and do something to change things.”

    I like the fact that we conclude our project on World War One with this poem because with it we had the opportunity to see the war from a different point of view, the one of who has to take the most important moments of a conflict and transmit them to the people at home, that don’t know what is really going on in these areas and often do not do anything to know and make a change.

  23. Giada scrive:

    A museum dedicated to war photography could help us to grasp the meaning of a war. War does not mean fighting for economical or ideological aspects but it means fighting against human beings, rights and innocent people.
    War photography is essential to describe the war’s reality without contamination. The photographer bring us in another place in which we can see violence, massacre and torture that maybe are not linked to our world. A museum dedicated to the war with imagines, pictures and photos represents one side of our world that we do not know because we live in a locus amoenus, a State without wars.
    I state that the video created by the two girls is very effective! It points out the most important aspects and metaphors like the one linked to the priest. Moreover the song they have chosen is appropriating and have involved me in poem. During the video you are overcame with emotions due to the poem’s text, the song and the imagines. The photo are very powerful and expressive.

    Thanks to the analysis I have understood that the word “darkness” is a metaphor linked to the war photographer mind. At first I thought it was only the room in where the photographer could states, works and focus on his live experience.
    Then I do not grasp other things like the ironic sentence in line 3:“ Softly glows” and in line 6 the strong reference to genocide “ All fresh is grass”. I like the part in the second stanza when the author pointed out the fact that also the war photographer is risking his own life to do his work. And this verse is linked to line 7 “ He has a job to do”.
    Another relevant point is mentioned in the phrase:” The reader’s eyeball prick with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers”, because sometimes we wash away cruel imagines that the war photographer has in his mind.
    If you were asked to write a catchy phrase to summarize the core concept of this poem, what would it be?
    “We cannot improve our world with a war, but a war photographer can change the public perception to stop that war.”
    I approve of this choice because I really appreciate the poem because it explains to us the hard work of a war photographer , his feelings and live experience.

    Giada Blasut 5^F

  24. Arianna Fabbro scrive:

    I think that the objective of a museum dedicated to war is, obviously, to expose and let peolple see the reality and the suffering of those areas affected by conflicts. The photographers have the responsability to tell the untold and to keep telling the story; by doing this, the photographers are raising awarness among the people that are not directly involved in wars and this means that they’re opposing war by triggering strong feelings that come from the images.
    Honestly, I didn’t find the video of the explanation of the poem really effective because, in my opinion, the images in the background are disconnected from the poem and they don’t render the powerfull images used by Carol Ann Duffy. The music itself is good but probabily I would have chosen something else for this poem.
    Some of my considerations about the poem were right but there were a lot of hidden meanings that I would not be able to grasp by myself. For example, I didn’t grasp immediately all the irony used by Carol Ann Duffy in many parts of the poem and even the phrase of the third stanza “he sought approval without words to do what someone must” wasn’t easy to me to understand because the meaning is deeper than I thought. A catchy phase to me can be “Is a war photographer a worker or a coward?”

  25. Laura Bortolotto scrive:

    First of all I would like to point out that some months ago I went to a wonderful exhibition of pictures taken by Robert Capa, one of the most extraordinary war photograhers of the XXth century. He travelled all around the world to witness the most various conflicts which took place between the 20’s and the 60’s from Spain to French, from the United States to Vietnam. I can quite proudly state I love art, not only music but fine arts as well. Though, I had never considered photography as an art, too: art should involve our senses, delight us through its constant seeking Beauty. But when I visited that exhibition I was shocked by how photography can make us think. World is not Beauty: there are actually concrete problems to solve and past experiences we must absolutely not forget. Therefore I am convinced that museums dedicated to war photography need to survive, because that is the only way we can get in touch with certain events in an objective way.
    The great poem by Carol Ann Duffy was much clearer to me after I saw both the creative video and the analytic one: even if I had managed to grasp the most important aspects of the poem, there are some points I had not caught. First of all, I had never considered war photographers as mere workers, as personifications of an amazing paradox: I agree with the fact that if on the one hand they immortalize war instants in order to denounce them, it is also true that they, so to say, DO partake in the war. But can their “partaking in the war” be defined as a sin? Would it be better to forget everything without getting our own hands stained? This is the point which made me reflect the most. Another aspect is Church not condemning wars despite Christ’s message of peace and brotherhood.
    It was not easy to elaborate a phrase which could summarize this poem without any further explanation, but anyway I would say: “Being a war photographer: both a priviledged and disgraced job”.
    I appreciated very much this poem as the end of our project on World War One: it is not so usual to talk about such a point of view, that of war photographers. It would be a very good point to start another project about the relation between art and contemporary world.

  26. Rossetti Elisabetta scrive:

    After I watched the videos about war photographers, I made up my own opinion about their work . I think that men who decide to undertake this kind of career, must have strong ideals expecially reguarding war. Creating a museum dedicated to war photography is a way to denounce war, how it is fought and the damages for human beings. It is a way to show people the reality of the military campaines. Too often the system hides the brutality of war behind the catchphrase “make war to make peace”, and behind this idea people tend to forget that war inevitably causes death, and the majority of those who dies, are innocent, common people. In this particolar case war photographers play and important role: they have the responsability to bring truth to civilians who can’t see the war with their own eyes.
    In the second video there is a man who affirms: “we have the responsabilità to try to keep telling this story”. Another point that, in my opinion war photographers want to underline, is not just the effects in Afghanistan and Iraq (in this particolar case) people, but also on the American soldiers. They look annihilated, traumatized by the war. So we can say that war does not know winners or loosers: there is just pain, suffering for everybody. All those traumatic events we can see in the pictures will remain forever in the minds or even the bodies of those who suffered those events.
    The poem “War photographer” by Carol Ann Duffy explains the hard work war photographers have to face everyday.
    The creative video is usefull also because of its music: the song “We are the world” promotes solidarity and brotherhood since this song was used in the ’80 for a fund raising, where the western people, at least for once, felt involved with the situation African people was living.
    The video is useful to understand better the poem.It made me realize the strong emotions the photographer feels. I can imagine how hardcan be for the person who took those pictures to look at them because they remind him the moments he has lived.For example in the poem is written when he remembers the woman crying for her dead husband.
    My catchy “phrase” to summarize this poem is “breave hearts” in order to underline the fatigues the photographer have to face to catch moments of grim reality and bring them to common people like us who too often forget what war really is.

  27. Silvia Piol scrive:

    ANSWER 1
    To my mind a museum dedicated to war photography could be really useful. By using the word “useful” I really mean that it could be useful for people to better understand what wars are. Just if people get to know what wars are and all its consequences on humanity and all the suffering it brings about they can raise their voice in order to stop wars from being fought.
    ANSWER 2
    I think the video was quite effective but I think the images that were linked to the different lines of the poem didn’t really match with the content of those lines. At least this is the case for some of the images. Among the different images there were two that particularly caught my attention and they are the one of the Jews in the concentration camps and the one of the African child, that is being uplifted by his mum. I was really moved by that skinny child, whose body seems to fight against death.
    ANSWER 3
    I have found this video really useful. It made me reflect on so many things and led me to make so many considerations I could not make myself. I will now make a list of things that I did not fully grasp from my first analysis.
    1- I had not grasped the irony about the Church that is being made at lines 4 and 5 of the first stanza, the indirect attack the author is making against the Church and the fact that it is allowing war to continue.
    2- I could not really understand the meaning of this sentence:” All flesh is grass “. Then I understood this sentence is just a biblical passage.
    3- I had not focused my attention on the word “ job “, that is contained in the sentence :” He has a job to do “. Here Carol Ann Duffy is attacking those war photographers that consider war photography just a job like many others, without getting involved with what they mirror with the pictures they take.
    4- I had not noticed the fact that the ones pictures that are chosen by any editor are not put on the front page but they end up on the Sunday’s supplement.
    ANSWER 4
    People’s indifference to the issue of war makes war photographers’ job vain.
    ANSWER 5
    “ War photographer “is an indirect appeal to humanity to stop fighting wars, this is why this poem has been chosen as the conclusive element of our project on WW1.

  28. Iryna scrive:

    Semenyuk Iryna 5 F

    • The most important objective of a museum dedicated to war photography is to show and explain to people how really the war was. Because for human being it is important to see pictures or photography to understand better. This visual effect remain in the memory for long time and every one can interpret it in personal way. The photographer usually catches some particular, tragic and unusual moment so we can analyze all things which had happened during the war.
    • This video is powerful and effective, it help to understand the poem and explain some lines and details that perhaps without video were not very clear. Some pictures are cruel the other are touching but they represent the reality of life in some areas and we simply have not right do not know nothing about this kind of problems.
    • I was quite right in my considerations but some metaphors were too deep and a little bit difficult in interpretation. The poem is visual, with many links to different wars and conflicts and to understand completely the poem it is important to have already some knowledge about wars that are mentioned by author.
    • During the war you cannot escape from it, it is everywhere and you are obliged to face it in all it’s terrible aspects.
    • This poem, as for me, is a good and very powerful conclusion to our project on World War One. The poet here speak about more recent wars, but we can see that nothing has changed. The sufference, deaths, horror are always the same. Some verse demonstrate the conscience and feelings of the photographer. Duffy tries to explain and justify their work and why people do this job.

  29. Valerio Zaina scrive:

    When we talk about war it always seems that we are talking about something that is far away from us. We study them, we read about them, we watch politicians talking about them in tv but we do not really care much about them because they are so distant (so it seems) or because they happened a long time ago and we were not even born. The fact is this (and it very sad) in order to really understand what a war is we should live it: If we (the majority of us) live a war we will find out why so many people spend their time to “fight” in order to stop wars. Although there is another way: denounce the horrors that a war causes; not in the traditional way but putting the spectator directly in front of the fact, letting him SEE what a war causes. This is the objective of war photography. As a matter of fact there is a difference between saying that that child lost both his parents because of a bob and seeing a picture of him crying between the corpses of his parents. War photography let us realize better how stupid and painful a war is.
    A war photographer is someone between an hero and a coward (I did not want to sound offensive but I couldn’t find another adjective). He is a “coward” because he witnesses all that terrible things and he does nothing to avoid them, he “just” takes a photo. He is an hero because he goes in places where he know he could possibly die “just” to let us see what shameful things are happening in the other side of the world. A museum dedicated to these ambiguous modern heroes is a way to celebrate their courage.
    The video posted for Duffy’s poem is quite effective: the poem is full of evocative images that are rendered very well through the video. In this way you get to understand better what the poem talks about. I must confess that there are some images that do not have much sense, it feels like someone put them there in order to fill an empty space.
    The video of the teacher was useful too. I was right in the consideration I did: for example I pointed out too the contradictions hidden in this job that are perfectly rendered through the poem. But I have not grasped the irony that the teacher pointed out because I would never have thought that Carol Ann Duffy could use irony for such a “serious” theme.

    Phrase: “With a clic I shoot in me and bring that shot to everyone”

    I think that you decided to conclude our project on WWI with war photography because that war was one of the first to be reported. Since WWI war photographer have risked their life in order to let people know what was going on where no bird sings and rifles scream. War photography is something that links that war to the wars that are still fought nowadays and makes us fell it not so far from us.

  30. D'angelo Antonino scrive:

    1) I think that a museum dedicated to war photography is very important because it brings us the truthful testimony about what happens abroad. The main function of photography is to represent the reality that has witnessed the photographer and with the war photography people can be aware of the situation in the rest of the world and make their own reflections. Therefore photography has an essential role on denouncing war.

    2) First of all I do not like music videos related to poetry because they interfere with the images that I created with my mind before and maybe they can destroy them. This kind of video does not allow a personal interpretation of the poem. Then in the video in question, there is the song “We are the world”, which could be related to the argument, but the connection with Duffy’s poem is not immediate and also it misleads with the reading so the poem is no longer the protagonist of the video.

    3) After watching this video many aspects of the poem were more clear to me and confirmed what I thought of the poem, such as the psychological state of the war photographer, which is conditioned by what he saw during his job; then there were some aspects that I could not grasp by myself: for example I did not grasp in the first stanza the irony used with “suffered set”; the reference to the Bible with “All flesh is grass” and then in the final stanza with “black and white” is not only related to the black and white of the photo but even to right and wrong in the sense that the photographer is thinking about the ethic of his job, if he is doing the right thing.

    4) “Is it worth risking so much?”

    5) In my opinion you decided to conclude the project with this poem (and I do agree with you) because war witnesses are not only the soldiers, but even civilians, in particular photographers that decided to risk their life in order to make people aware of what is happening in the battlefields. Then also because it is interesting to compare the different war experiences and the common aspect that comes up is that the war changes everyone radically.

  31. Mattia scrive:

    War photographers, and so, a museum of war photography is simply essential for me, because from it you could see the reality of the war: the real condition of human being who lived in a country at war. I think that in order to see better the truth of the war, but especially to understand better the valiant and darangeous work of a war photographer, he should take a picture himself with what he wants to photograph (as the nowadays “selfie”), or better someone else should take a picture to the war photographer while he is taking a photograph. I think that in this way we could understand better that is a real situation, made from courageous men, and denounce the cruelty of wars and of what sorrounded it.
    I like so much the video, first of all for the music, because i love that song, but especially because i could understand better the poem. This because as the pictures taking by the war photographer help us to see and to know better the reality of a war, images help me to understand the meaning of the pain, especially of certain sentences, which with an image are more clear. So, in some situations, images could help us to understand better than words or sounds.
    The explanation is fantastic because it shows the so many hidden meaning that could have only one word or expression. I understood the general meaning but this video opened my eyes to the deep and various meaning: for example in the first line the the word “darkroom” where the poet finds himself, I understood that it reflected the condition of the war, and of what the war photographer had taken a picture of, but I did not understood that it could even simbolize the state of his mind, that could be his “room”, where he had and kept his war photos, which is sad, cruel, “dark”. Or even when the poet says: “he has a job to do”, referring to the war photographer, I do not think of the fact that the war photographer is paid to see people or especially children, dead, or suffering, or that is going to be shot. It is a paradox!
    If I have to summerize the poem with a phrase I would say that: “the war whotographer open the “eye” of his camera while somebody else close his eyes!”, because he did not want, or he does on purpose, to see the reality of the war.
    I really appreciate the fact that you decided to finish our project on WWI° with this poem, and in general with Carol Ann Duffy, because she succeds in showing the reality of the war, with the eyes of the “War Photographer”, describing his coraugeous work, but she even give us a secret and happy aspects of the war, that is, the curious episode of “Christmas Truce”, which give us a different and more nice side of the war.
    Mattia 5F

  32. Giulia scrive:

    A museum dedicated to the war world I can be very important to show the brutality and crudely of this conflict trough the picture.
    This is a good idea to see the war in another way that can make the difference and can help people to open their eyes through things that they doesn’t know or that they consider not important. The picture can show us all the parts that a conflict have: the happy (also very rare, for example when they receive a letter from their family) moments, the dead, the suffering, the moments of alarm, and so. It can be a good way to highlight the hidden aspects that the newspaper or a poem cannot explain. Also the job of a photographer is very difficult who find himself in a situation of war, with this cruel situation trying to come out alive from the danger of the war. So in my opinion, a museum can be useful.
    According to me the video was a good way to understand the poem but I think that the images were not linked in a good way with the content of those lines. This is the case for some pictures. Through his images we can see a very short part of the huge aspects, problems caused by the cruelty and brutality of the War. Through images the reader is helped to understand the message of the poem, images of pain and destruction make this reading more emotive and involving. But I very appreciate this video; it helps in another way to see the different aspects of the conflict.
    I really enjoyed the analysis. It is complete and explains things that we did not understand immediately. It highlighted the behaviour of the war photographer, which decides to participate right to these crimes and doing nothing. His behaviour is juxtaposed to the reader that looks at these pictures on Sunday insert but does nothing to change the situation and immediately forgets about it.
    I saw that the pictures that are chosen by any editor are not put on the front page but they were on the Sunday’s supplement.
    This poem closed our project on World War I, In order to give us a different view of the war. I enjoy this choice, especially because I appreciate the Carol Ann Duffy poem.
    Balbinot Giulia

  33. Riccardo Sartori scrive:


    The curious eyes of a child,
    stare at the abandoned helmet
    in the middle of the road.
    Just for fun, he put it on his curly head,
    imitating the sound of gunshots.
    But the helmet fits him loosely.
    A young soldier, tired and disappointed
    sees the innocent from afar,
    playing alone near a giant tree with the helmet.
    The little boy is astonished, because
    he recognizes his eyes and his skinny physiognomy;
    “Sir, I saw you in the picture that my father has at home.
    Are you my brother, by any chance?” asks the child with his invidiable naivety.
    The little boy manages to get a smile out of the soldier:
    “Yes, we are brothers” claims the young man
    “but I left home very early, therefore you didn’t recognize me”.
    “Do you like it?” asks the child, indicating the helmet.
    The soldier, thoughtful, doesn’t answer.
    “My brother, you see those men over there, who are playing
    a soccer game, exchanging some of their own objects?
    Are they friends, in your opinion?”
    The child nods, a little bit intimidated.
    “Yet I think so, my dear brother,
    someone says, we need to be enemies,
    as if we were born to kill other human beings.
    The helmet, the uniform and the rifle, mustn’t cover our soul,
    they must be as pure as yours, my dear brother.”
    The child places the helmet near the giant tree,
    Stares at the soldier with curious eyes and asks him:
    “Came back home with me, my brother,
    our parents will be happy to see you again”.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      The use of dialogue and narration in a poem is pretty unusual, but I like the result and I appreciate the way it reads. Nice, Riccardo.

  34. Valeria Biagianti scrive:


    As I look at your picture,
    a shiver comes all over me.
    A little homesickness
    and I turn back to the trenches.
    As I imagine what you are doing,
    I feel you are by my side;
    like the morning when I had to leave you.
    I wish I had never cried.
    A soldier should never cry.
    Even before death. Death.
    Five letters and an uncertain knowledge,
    but isn’t death the only certainty we have,
    from our first moment in this world?
    Thought war seems to change its track.
    The border between life and death is so brittle,
    Life here has no dignity:
    men and donkeys are reduced to a mush
    under the enemies’ fire.
    The place where words have lost their meanings;
    nothing needs to be remembered,
    no one has the strength to speak.
    Even poets hide reality behind metaphors,
    singers stopped singing
    and started grieving.
    I am only a small ant
    in this teeming anthill.
    Do I have the right to cry
    for Simon, who won’t see his wife again?
    Do I have the right to cry
    for Dave, who had left two little children and a wife
    all by themselves?
    Do I have the right to cry for
    my country that has lost all its Youth
    in this miserable war and
    now it will trudge to get back on its feet again?
    And then I ask myself: Do I have tears anymore?

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      This is a powerful poem. I am just astonished by the effect the words you chose had on me. The emotional impact was really strong. Thank you for having put your sensitive appraoch to life in this poem. Thank you.

  35. Yana Guerra scrive:

    Many people were forced to be soldiers
    a whole generation was wiped out by a bulldozer
    pain was given to families
    they were literally led to insanity.
    The air was full of agony in the trenches
    only God knows how many people died
    Nations don’t care what it is ethically right
    nobody can understand it is might, power
    soldiers used to think in the night
    “Oh Lord, please tell me what life is”.

  36. Valentina Paronuzzi scrive:

    ”Christmas at war”

    It is Christmas Eve
    and we cannot sleep.

    We are piled up because of the cold:
    we are so young but we are feeling so old.

    Then a sound come across the wind:
    The Germans sing.

    We add to their song, and after a while
    someone comes out of the trench with a smile.

    We meet ‘the enemy’ in no man’s land,
    and we behave as if we are best friends.
    We exchange chocolates, cigarettes and pictures of home
    and no one cares where you come from.

    Then comes out the first sun ray
    and so it has come, the day.

    Now we are back in the trenches,
    waiting for something to happen.

    Suddenly the sound of a gunshot.

    The war goes on.
    But we just want it to stop.

  37. Silvia Zongaro scrive:

    I’m thinking of you,
    Here in the trenches
    I hold my breath
    waiting for my death.
    I only hear shots and bombs
    But I see you everywhere
    between the bulllets.
    I am thinking of you,
    Now lying in the grass
    Waiting for the war to pass.
    I am thinking of you,
    Here in this war
    I hope you are doing the same
    waiting to see you again.

  38. Laura Bortolotto scrive:

    When something you really longed for
    Reveals itself to be a hideous trap,
    From which part of his mind can a man
    Wrest enough strength
    To pretend nothing is happening?

    Or perhaps it is the animal instinct,
    Which always relies on hope and ignores the danger
    Whenever man believes he has found a way out.

    How is it possible to forget such a tragedy
    And carelessly celebrate a religious event?
    What did atheists do that night?
    Did they partake in the festivity,
    Was Christmas a pretext for them as well?

    Such men, apparently coward having left the fight,
    I incredibly admire.
    And my strong precise mind
    Would perhaps not allow me to act like that.

  39. Valerio Zaina scrive:

    That feeling
    When you left on that ship
    So crowded
    Of youth
    Of excitement
    Has suddenly come back.

    That feeling
    Has suddenly come back
    In this trench
    So crowded
    Of death,


    Now, that you are walking
    Blood and mud,
    A mixture
    They prepared for you
    It has baked your mind.

    A corpse – he sleeps
    He has the same
    Smile you saw on that ship.
    He is happy
    Now that he has left
    For far and more peaceful

  40. Lucrezia scrive:

    What is war?
    Is injustice, we are all equal, we cannot kill each other;
    is egoism, is envy towards another people;
    is thirst for whealth;
    is a bloodshed, a slaughter of young people who fight for no real reason;
    is the sound of gunshots;
    is the blood poured from the veins of soldiers;
    is a moltitude of dead bodies on the ground;
    is the tears of a friend when he sees you die;
    is a letter full of love of a wife waiting for her husband;
    is a prayer sent to God to stop such a horrible vision;
    is a hard struggle between life and death;
    is when you are deprived of your own ideas;
    is hope, hope when you think: “I will survive”;
    is a sigh of relief when a soldier wakes up in the morning
    and he says “I’m still here, I’m still alive”,
    because every morning he asks himself if the day after he will be alive.
    Is courage, love for the homeland,
    because if you thought about what happens during a war, you would die
    at the beginning of the battle.

    War is the worst crime that people have ever committed.

    But it is not a symbol of alienation,
    war cannot lead the heart of a soldier, cannot steal his dignity;
    God knows all our feelings and cannnot forget what a “life” a soldier
    lived in the trenches.

    Lucrezia 5°F

  41. Valentina Porro scrive:

    “Running Photos”

    Black. Blood. Rain. Run.
    I have to run. Run fast.
    Faster. I have to hurry.
    Hurry up.
    I can’t run. I can’t trample on my brothers.
    They are all dead. But I can’t stop.
    I have to do my job.
    To show the truth.
    Ready. Steady. Shoot.
    I hope these images will remain foever.
    I hope someone will understand.
    Now I am walking.
    I am breathing.
    A hand. Someone is touching me.
    Please. Please. Please.
    That hand is talking to me.
    A man half-dead.
    This is more than a photo.
    Love. Hugs. Now.
    I can’t leave him here. Alone.
    Blood in my hands.
    Blood in my arms.
    Blood in my eyes.
    Blood in my mind.
    I won’t leave him.
    We have just become
    A family.

  42. Giada scrive:

    An unhappy future

    There is a child in the garden
    Who is playing alone
    Waiting for his father,

    The man, the soldier who is in no-man’s-land
    And whose grave is surrounded by dead men
    Instead of flowers and flags.

    There is a child in the garden
    Waiting for you
    With his broken dreams
    And tear-brimmed eyes
    Because he has told you good-bye

    Giada Blasut

  43. Silvia Piol scrive:

    A war. What’s a war?

    A war is a mother.
    A mother that cries ‘cause her child died.
    He died at the front.
    He died, he was just seventeen.
    Nobody will ever bring him back to her.
    And now who will rest
    his head on her breast?

    A war is a heart.
    A heart that was broken.
    It is that of a girl.
    Her boyfriend was sent to the front.
    He sent her a lot of letters from there,
    from hell.
    Those letters are all she is left of him.
    He has never come back!

    A war is a teardrop.
    A teardrop that runs on the cheek of a dad.
    He remembers once a letter arrived.
    A letter that said his son had to partake in the war.
    So great was the pride in his eyes.
    “Good boy, your moment of glory has come!
    Be proud!”
    But now that is son is gone forever
    what’s left of that pride?

    A war is a decoration.
    A decoration on a soldier’s uniform.
    Oh, how he loved those medals
    shining on his chest!
    that was at first.
    Then his friend died.
    Then another.
    And many others.
    “Fucking medals!”
    What’s a medal when your brother, your father, your friend
    have died?

    A war is…
    a son that dies;
    a mother that cries;
    a broken-hearted girl;
    a father that lives in remorse;
    a soldier who’s left alone with his medals
    ‘cause the greedy war has gulped down all his friends.

    Do you think a war is worth all this?

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Silvia, tears are running down my cheeks. I read your poem over and over again as I did with your classmates’. I am astonished at the great capabilities you all have of writing beautiful and touching words. This poem is a poetic piece of great depth and thus of great impact. Thank you for having put your soul into it. I can feel it. I can see it. You did a wondeful job and I am very proud of you, my special Silvia.

  44. Arianna Fabbro scrive:


    They are back with you now,
    the monsters of before
    you thought you could fight
    so you got ready for war.
    “You’ll be a hero” they said;
    I thought heroes were supposed to be invincible,
    but then I realized
    the battle wounds traced across your mind
    and at that point, I’d rather be blind.
    You were in a war
    with mates, enemies, beasts
    or even more…
    Each one pulled the trigger
    sending another shot of pain
    all over your body
    transforming the strong man you were
    into a nobody.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      This is a super poem Arianna. You took my breath away. Well done my special young lady!

  45. Emanuele scrive:

    Another point of view.

    In the immensity
    Of thoughts,
    Human beings,
    And feelings.

    A war is:

    Disorientation, suffering, misery, drought,
    Anger, hunger, loneliness,
    Fear, homesickness.

    It is also:

    Living for a future change,
    Receiving the letters from wives,
    Springing out of the trenches,
    Sharing food rations,
    Taking a heroic decision,
    Sparing the enemy,
    Listening to a gun firing,

    The sound of a bullet,
    Which has just brushed you.

    Emanuele Li Calzi.

  46. D'angelo Antonino scrive:

    Look into their eyes

    Look into their eyes,
    look at their souls.
    What do you see?
    What do you feel?
    They’re all dead…
    They fought for their future
    and saved our present.
    Fear was their worst enemy,
    but they were united
    by their sense of brotherhood.
    Christmas was coming and
    wanted to fight.
    On Jesus’ birthday they made
    a truce
    with the enemy.
    That was a miracle!
    Music was their best friend,
    at that moment…
    resting became a duty
    And everybody shared
    the Rare Joy
    and realized
    that they were all the same…
    They were brothers.

  47. Mattia Pizzutti scrive:


    <<Come on man,
    Stand up
    Go and fight
    for your homeland
    for your family
    for your pride
    for you!
    Go and kill everyone
    every man you met
    every person you met
    every soldier you met
    in your dead way!
    Go and kill!

    Christmas 1914.

    <<Come on friend,
    it's Christmas
    it's cease-fire
    it's the time to change our gifts
    it's the time to meet our enemies
    it's the time to meet our enemies
    it's the time to meet new friends!
    Come on pal,
    it's an happy day of war,
    it's a party in the war,
    it's a celebration in the war!
    Hi enemies! Hi new friends!

    The day after Christmas 1914.


  48. cristianaziraldo scrive:

    War is whitered flowers, static sunsets
    It is artificial fog.
    War is canned food, whispered – screamed pain.
    It is an outbreak of souls.
    War is death, death, death.
    Death is
    destroyed families,
    tattered futures,
    dog food and dried blood.
    That is what war is

    Elena Ghersetti

  49. Sara Nicastro scrive:

    colours are our lives

    green, as the gay grass where the wind plays
    blue, as the starry sky above us
    red, as our young mother’s smiling lips.

    colours are my life

    green, as the soldier’s uniform
    blue, as my only way to escape “home”
    red, as my widowed mother’s lips.

    black, as the end

  50. Giulia scrive:

    Everyday and Every night are always the same,
    mud, shots, rain, screams, death Every where.
    I cannot move, I cannot breathe,
    I cannot see anything beyond my place.

    When will this nonsense end?
    When will I meet my lover again?
    What shall I do if all this pain never stops?
    I have no answer, but I am not hopeless.

  51. Elisabetta Rossetti scrive:

    Hello God my old friend
    I want to talk to you again.
    ‘cause I’m all alone in a train
    Bringing me back home full of pain
    My mates are not with me today
    Where are they?
    You chose to take them with you
    Why didn’t you take me too?
    Why were you so cruel to me?
    Even if I am alive, this does not mean I am living
    This does not mean I know happiness
    This does not mean I am free.
    In the trenches I saw horrible things
    I wished I had wings
    I wished I was You
    To make my wish come true.
    Oh my Lord
    I hope you will take care of my mates
    The ones you didn’t give another chance
    Oh my Lord
    I will ask you this everyday
    Till you tell me they have become flowers in May.

  52. Nicola scrive:

    The First World War was insane
    a lot of lives were lost, an unbearable pain
    Many guns were used, if you put them down they would form a long chain
    Soldiers were down in the mud
    everybody with a lot of problems, but sustain each other like in a brotherhood
    Fighting for different reasons: some to give their families support,
    some people didn`t even want to go to war, risking every day to go to martial court
    Even though they fight for their great nation
    people for the first time they hate it, and start the act of commemoration.
    In every church they ring a bell
    religious people honor the dead giving their last salute with a `Farewell`
    A lot of good men perished
    but nobody will forget the day on which the Christmas spirit
    prevailed, and all generals failed
    in the ongoing of war
    they all understood what they were meant for
    and that is to be brothers
    putting their anxietes to the side and helping one another.

  53. Serena Riservato scrive:

    Too much pain

    Who can endure all the pain?
    Who may suffer so much?
    Who can look into the eyes of a friend who died?
    Who can shoot a man with the same fear as yours?

    It is too much!
    It is too much for any human being!
    He’ll never see his family,
    He’ll never walk again,
    He’ll neverplay with his children,
    He’ll never forget.

    They told him that he would become a hero,
    But a shell blew it all over.
    There remains just a stupid medal
    And the image of all the pain he was through.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      There are not more words to add. Your poem denounces any war. It is a proclamation of peace after the evidence of the uselessness of fighting a war.

  54. Veronica Moro scrive:

    No one knows what human rights are, only because we all take it for granted.
    We live every day with our rights, so we get used to it. But they did not exist always and they are Not existing everywhere. The human being had to fight to get this rights. MASSACRES. PERSECUTIONS. INJUSTICES. Our ancestors struggled to afford this lives for us. So we can’t waste what they did, we just must do what they did for future’s progeny.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      I fully agree when you claim that we should be grateful for what our ancestors did for us. For example, if the suffragettes had not fought for women’s rights, we would not have the right to vote in our country.

  55. Candido A. scrive:

    I find war photographer museums much interesting, and I enjoy watching pictures taken in extreme situations like conflicts, wars and so on. War is something that never touched me directly, and difficultly can be imagined by a civilian, if not involved In the warfare; a picture has in fact a great strength, make observers dive into the scene caught, making feel even the breaths of the photographer; it makes us plunge into the distant situation. That the power of imagines, much useful with the aim of informing people: no word is needed, no mediation e nothing artificial, so photographer have been able to donate us effective and still alive moments of the Great War.
    The video can be an additional support for the comprehension of the poem, but it could have been assemble in a much more functional way, in the sense that the music can distract, and the imagines are sometimes banal: original picture of the WWI could have been chosen; colleting modern images referred to now-a-days conflict wants probably making us notice how timeless this poem can be.
    The both videos helped me confirming my opinions on the piece of poetry, and what I appreciated the most of the poem was the final couplet, in which the hypocrisy of mankind is described: war interests just those who are killed or bombed, the other ones have time just for few tears and then immediately forget not to feel the same sorrow of the unfortunate ones.
    I think that this could be a proper conclusion to the WWI project since photography can describe the horrors of the warfare with the same power of poetry, even better and more directly, with no human mediation and plunging the observer into the frame. Alles Gute

  56. Irene Piva scrive:

    In my opinion a phrase to summarize the core concept of this poem is: the role of a photographer is make people aware of the tragedy of war through images because we still are too indifferent.

    I think you decided to conclude with this poem because it talks about the horror of war of all ages. It is like an universal war poem because it describes, like a real picture, what happens in warfare in contrast to our indifference and our “ordinary pain” that is nothing compared to the suffering of people in war.
    I approve this choice. In my opinion it is a very powerful poem that makes us think about our condition and conditions in warfare and like a photograph can remain eternally printed in our mind.