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A Supermarket in California

A Supermarket in California

by Allen Ginsberg

Visions of America Quotes

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Quote #4

Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat disappear on the black waters of Lethe? (12)

While the speaker seems to hope that there was such a thing as a "lost America of love" in the previous line, here, he casts a lot of doubt on that very notion. He asks the imaginary Walt about his America, and doesn't seem all that hopeful about it. He seems to recognize that there never was a real America of love, which means that he and Walt will always be and would have always been outsiders in American culture.

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