Study Guide

A Supermarket in California Tough-o-Meter

By Allen Ginsberg

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(3) Base Camp

"A Supermarket in California" assumes that you're a pretty smart reader—that you know your Greek mythology and your poetry history. The speaker isn't going to waste time telling you who Whitman and Garcia Lorca are. That being said, once you understand the references (you can check out our "Summary" for help on this) the poem isn't too difficult. Though, we have to admit, that last line of the poem is a tough one, even if you know all about Charon and Lethe.

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