Analysis Of The Bright River By Tim Barsky

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Tim Barsky’s The Bright River, is a poem written on the basis of life and death and what comes after when we no longer walk on Earth. It transcends political issues into the peaceful afterlife we hope for after our last breath. In The Bright River the author Tim Barsky utilizes allusion, concrete poetry, and imagery to depict the afterlife as a skewed reflection of the real life to emphasize political and domestic affairs.
Barsky uses imagery to describe a world that has similar aspects to real life such that the two worlds (the afterlife and the”real” world) appear the same. Although that may be the case, the afterlife which he illustrates is a skewed version of life as the reader knows it. “But these days Purgatory looks a whole lot more …show more content…

“As I stepped out into the ghetto that the garden of Eden has become and there in an empty lot, I saw the tree of life, abandoned & squatted covered in a cast concrete structures heard the four to the floor of a house beat could feel the bass right through my feet” (Barsky 18) Since Barsky is still illustrating the afterlife, he makes an impressive statement by describing the garden of Eden as abandoned and disregarded. Barsky’s depiction of the Garden of Eden is instead a ghetto that is home to a more urbanized feel of muffled house music and concrete structures. The common imagery that the reader is familiar with in this example, is the religious connotation of the Tree of Life and the Garden of Eden. Most ideas of the afterlife are associated with some sort of religion, but the fact that in this version of the afterlife religion is so blatantly disrespected, it gives the reader pause to think just how different this world …show more content…

By using this, Barsky creates parallels between the reader's world and the described after life in The Bright River.

“When I died I came to in the bus station to find that no one in America had remembered to send the fare and now I’m trapped here in the bus station and I’m homeless living this nightmare. I’m begging for money and I’m terrified. I’m really really scared and now this country said it would never forget me- but it did.” (Barsky 15)

In this section of the poem, Barsky directly correlates the mistreatment of veterans in the United States to the lost abandoned souls in Purgatory. By doing this, it’s another form of bringing the story to life as it resonates back to real life. The reader may feel the injustice that the soldier in Purgatory is suffering over as well as the rest of the veterans that are in a similar predicament. Dead or alive, the veterans receive the short end of the stick.

Furthermore, allusion is again used when the soldier describes his encounter with the social worker who is separating his

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