The poems written by Carol Ann Duffy and Sylvia Plath can be interpreted in many ways, but by looking into both poems in a deeper meaning you can quickly see that they are both alike in many ways. The poems have a subject, which is fairly similar, both project imagery of holy metaphors, both within them have many contrasts, and both have the same mood, and many more. Within the poems they are reflective and portray certain feelings to the reader.
Each of the poems were written for a specific reason to give the reader an insight to their own emotions, the War Photographer was written to show the life of a photographer who’s job was to capture images from war-scenes, and bring them back to England, The other poem, Mirror, written to show the hatred of a poet who has embedded her life into a mirror and hidden her creativity. The subjects of the poems were different, but showed the same emotions of showing images and showing the truth.
The War Photographer was a poem about developing pictures, showing the truth from a place that he had been to, yet no one else had. Similarly Mirror, shows the story of a mirror which had captured the truth of a life of a girl, yet also gone beyond the truth inside her real emotions and feelings. Imagery used in the two poems is very similar; both the poems refer to death, and holy objects. In the War Photographer, the poet describes developing the photos as a holy act, and that the dark room with only dim light, represents a church with dim candles flickering.
Plath’s poem talks of the mirror being “The eye of a little God,” describing how the candles are liars, not showing the true person. The act of worship is carried out within the poem as the girl had spent so much time in front of the mirror, she had begun to worship the mirror. The moods of both poems are morbid, reflective and spiritual. They both talk of death and are therefore morbid in the way they make the reader feel when they read the two poems. Both the poems are spiritual as they have deeper emotional meanings which are not seen without further examination of the language of the poems.
The poetic voice of the poems is different as the Poet is the voice of the War Photographer, whereas the mirror is the voice of the second. In the second the voice of the poem is a reflection of the feelings of the poet. The ways in which the poems are set out are in stanzas. War Photographer is set out is in four stanzas as the photographer goes through the different stages of developing photos. In contrast to this, Mirror is set out in two stanzas, the first describing the mirror, and the next describing the way the girl relates to the mirror.
I found the two poems very different in subject, however they make the reader feel the same way. War Photographer is a factual poem which leaves you open to interpretation by the reader as to whether you personally react to things you read in the papers, whether you don’t care just because it’s not happening to you. The second poem, is a poem which many people can relate to, especially teenagers of this time, as many teenagers become insecure at this stage in their lives. The way the poet described the obsession which developed could be related to many people.