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A Supermarket in California

A Supermarket in California


by Allen Ginsberg

A Supermarket in California Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. What is the effect of the poem's form (the apostrophes, the long lines) in the meaning of the poem? What's the point of addressing the poem to a dead guy? And why bother writing this as a poem at all if it's going to be so prose-like?
  2. Why do you think Ginsberg references Walt Whitman and Federico Garcia Lorca in this poem? What does he seem to think of these two figures?
  3. How does the speaker feel about American consumer culture? How can you tell?
  4. Why does Ginsberg bring Greek mythology into a poem about America? Does this enhance the poem for you, or distract you?
  5. Are there any answers to the speaker's big questions at the end of the poem? What might they be?

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