Stanza four

As the poet begins to reach her conclusion, she makes a comment on the way these images are received by the people they are produced for: both the newspaper editors who commission the work and us, the readers of these publications.

The hundred agonies that the photographer has selected for his editor contrasts immediately with the phrase will pick out five or six in the next line. The careless indifference in the way the editor selects the images reinforces how little regard we have for the subjects in the pictures.

Duffy extends this disingenuous response to us, the readers of the newspapers, using bathos when describing how our eyeballs prick with tears between the bath and pre-lunch beers.

Rescue helicopters landing in a field in Vietnam as soldiers watch on

The poem ends with the photographer departing once more for a new job as the cycle begins again. His sense of separateness from his countrymen is evident as he refers to us as they, emphasising how little he identifies with our lives and values

As he surveys the landscape of rural England from the aeroplane, there is a growing acceptance that, despite his best efforts, his photographs will ultimately make no real difference.