Allen Ginsberg's A Supermarket In California

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Poetry tells the story of unsung heroes and stories that are subjugated by societal standards. This analysis covers the homosexual tone present in Allen Ginsberg’s, “A Supermarket in California” and the rest of the poem’s undertons that provides a critique on modern consumerism. The poem is set up in free verse and the theme follows this direction by not following the modern pattern of life. The speaker of the poem is alluded to be Allen Ginsberg himself and in the case of “A Supermarket in California”, I believe that the interjection provides meaning by developing a kinship with Walt Whitman. The poem follows a daydreamer and his misadventures in a supermarket with an old, great and deceased poet. The interpretation of the poem is meant to…show more content…
Allen Ginsberg, I believe chose this style to represent liberation and his admiration for his favorite poet. The poetic element is structured in a free verse and the meter or rhyming is not set for a traditional reading. The line breaks give the reader a moment of pondering to consume each line. The lines are setup like aisles setup to stop traffic. The speakers first lines set up the poem and the stanza, “What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I/walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache!” (1-2). The stanza has the speaker conjuring up Walt Whitman and he seems to be using him as a…show more content…
The literary device used is imagery about homosexuality and consumerism. The rhetorical situation about the reader interpreting the internal monologue of the speaker and with taking the face value of the poem or searching for innuendos. Allen Ginsberg was part of The Beat Generation and were a counterculture to the rapid standardization of consumerism with sexist roles (Ginsberg 129). The imagery is playing being biased to show a commonality.
The speaker feels that America has lost its way and is unrecognizable. The meaning is about our consumption of products being used and then easily forgotten like the waters of Lethe which led to forgetfulness (Ciuk). Walt Whitman’s America “imagined America” probably never existed but Allen Ginsberg uses him as a guide for a better tomorrow. As America ages her citizens romanticize the old times making them softer memories.
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,
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