thoseit leaves behind and theemotions of thefamilies. It is a behind thescenes view of conflict ratherthan addressing theconflict itself. There isalso a level of conflict in the mothers emotions , pride, fear, sadness.Structure: Written as a monologuein 4 stanzas and no rhymescheme. Thestanzas arestructuredalong events in thelife of a mother and child. First themother looks back at RemembranceDay andthe idea of thepoppy which has helped trigger thememory. Secondly themothertalks about helpingher son get ready and seeing him off. Thirdly the poemexplores theemptiness that is left in hisabsence, finally the motherfeels drawn to a war memorial bringing the story back to whereit started,yet now with no son around. Thesuggestion ofthedovebeing that hehas died. The poemuses a lotof enjambment and familiar nouns to enhancetheidea of naturaltoneand themothers voice19
PoppiesThree days before Armistice Sundayand poppies had alreadybeen placedon individual war graves.Before you left,I pinned one onto your lapel, crimped petals,spasms of paper red, disruptinga blockadeof yellowbias bindingaround your blazer.Sellotape bandaged aroundmyhand,I rounded up as manywhite cat hairsas I could, smoothed down your shirt'supturned collar, steeled the softeningof my face. I wanted to graze my noseacross the tip of your nose, playatbeing Eskimos like we did whenyou were little.I resisted the impulseto run my fingers through the gelledblackthorns ofyour hair. All my wordsflattened, rolled, turnedinto felt,slowlymelting. I was brave, as I walkedwith you, to the front door, threwit open, the world overflowinglike a treasure chest. A split secondand you were away, intoxicated.After you'd gone I went into your bedroom,released a song bird from its cage.Later a single dove flew from the pear tree,and this is where it has led me,skirtingthe church yard walls, my stomach busymaking tucks, darts, pleats, hat-less, withouta winter coat or reinforcements ofscarf, gloves.On reaching the top of the hill I tracedthe inscriptions on the war memorial,leaned against it like a wishbone.The dove pulled freelyagainst the sky,an ornamentalstitch.Ilistened, hopingto hearyour playgroundvoice catchingon the wind.JANE WEIR20
War PhotographerContext: Thepoem is written about a war photographerwho has returned homeand isdeveloping his photos. Theprocess ofdeveloping old stylefilm photos is ratherunusualformany to understandtoday. Old stylefilm is very sensitiveto light, so it must be donein thedark room lit with red light. The photo itself is developed using chemicals which slowly bringout the photo, it is then hung to dry. All of this can createquite a sinisteratmosphere, redlight, surroundingby hanging photosand chemicalsmells.The poemis also looking at thecontrast between thewar zoneand safety ofbeing back homeand the way peoplejust do not understand thetruth, afterall a singlephoto cannot showeverything.War photographers do a very dangerous job, many arekilled and injured as they must get inharms way to get thephoto they areafter.Structure: Written in 4 stanzas thepoemfeaturing rhyming coupletsinterspaced with non rhyming lines. Theregular structurecan represent the
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