Ginsberg's 'A Supermarket In California'

Decent Essays
Ginsberg’s “A Supermarket in California” begins with him walking “down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the moon” (line 1-2) which shows that he is conflicted between Walt Whitman’s spiritual/natural view of the world and the current state of industrialized America he inhabits. He then proceeds to enter a “neon fruit supermarket” (line 3) while dreaming of Whitman’s enumerations. It’s important to note that just prior to this he mentions that he is “shopping for images,” (line 3) not for food, but for images. Everyone that Whitman sees in the supermarket is shopping for food like any normal person would, however, he points out poets that are there with him, seemingly sharing the same goal of finding imagery for poetic inspiration/direction. He notes seeing “whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!” (line 5-6) as if going to a supermarket is one of the most amazing places a traditional family could travel to. Although, that line does hold some truth, it’s safe to say that most people don’t travel far from their homes too often, if at all, so for some people the closest thing to an adventure would be a supermarket filled with everything they could possibly imagine and more.…show more content…
Whitman asks, “who killed the pork chops? what price bananas?” (line 10) which are questions nobody in the store could possibly answer, unlike how those who sold similar items would be able to in Whitman’s America. At the end of the same sentence Whitman asks, “are you my angel?” (line 10-11) which sounds suspiciously like a pick-up line; this may be yet another not to Whitman’s alleged
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