The poem “Bushed” by Earle Birney is written in a free- verse style with lines of irregular length. The title of the poem i.e. ‘bushed’, itself suggests the theme of isolation and wilderness or about someone who is lost or mentally disturbed by living in wild bushes. It describes the story or experiences of a man who wants to live in isolation, away from the mankind and fret and fever of city life, to lead a solitary life somewhere near the mountains or river, in the lap of nature. This isolation, from the outer world and mankind, pleases him in the beginning and he is charmed with the untouched beauty of the mountains, river and forest but after a while, this serenity and calmness of the forest turns into a scary wild atmosphere and soon, the pleasant feeling is replaced by fear and he starts imagining things.
The opening line of the poem, “He invented a rainbow but lightning struck it” (Birney, l 1) gives a dreadful picture, where the man, living a happy life, has invented a rainbow but it has been destroyed by the lightening. Here, the rainbow symbolizes his earlier life, full of happiness, which is not destroyed by natural means i.e. by darkness or clouds etc. but by lightning which symbolizes strength, like a powerful weapon it struck the rainbow and destroyed it.
In the beginning, the man enjoys the serenity in atmosphere, “At first he was out with the dawn” (Birney, l 7). He describes the scenario with pleasure as he basks in “yellowed bright as wood columbine” (Birney, l 8) or as he “found the mountain was clearly alive” (Birney, l 10). He relishes every moment, since morning till night, whether it is the hot morning or his falling asleep on the feet of the mountain, in the lap of Mother Nature, in the night.
Towards the end of the poem, the man starts getting scared from everything around, as “unknown totems” (Birney, l 20) symbolizes spirit- like creature in his imagination; it represents his fear of the unknown. After spending some time...