A supermarket in California di Ginsberg: commento e analisi

A supermarket in California: analisi e commento in inglese, con citazioni, della poesia di Allen Ginsberg (2 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di vero14


Commentary of A supermarket in California.

The poem “A Supermarket in California” was written by Allen Ginsberg in 1955. In his strange layout and in his simple and trivial title lay a strong criticism toward American society of the Fifty’s. Along with the title the setting of this poem is a supermarket  crowd of whole families; in this place the poet, who is the narrator, roams halfway between reality and imagination. This text is full of meaningful images and some metaphors which entwine themselves and give the reader the complete and deep sense of the poem. Already in the beginning it is present a tight connection between Allen Ginsberg and the  poet Walt Whitman, regarded as an idol and as the father of  American poetry; in fact he is the main addresser of this poem ( vv.1, vv.5 “..dreaming of yours enumerations..”,  vv.
9 ..).

Tema sulla letteratura del novecento


The most important themes developed in this composition are:
-    the sense of displacement and the loss of the role of the modern poet
-    contemporary family break up
-    supermarket artificiality in opposition to natural things
-    loss of genuine values in a materialistic society
-    the new religion of consumerism against the old “American dream” celebrated by Walt Whitman
-    the journey (an odyssey in a supermarket)
-    the final pessimism of the poet towards American's society future


In lines 1-4 Ginsberg examines modern poet mood characterized by an “hungry fatigue” that is a kind of desperation of the poet caused by the lack of poetic inspiration, in fact he is “shopping for images” . He continues this analysis in lines 19-20
“..I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel absurd..”, by this sentence Ginsberg wants to underline displacement sense and poet’s disharmony condition: in a society dominated by possession of things he feels lost.
The criticism toward society continues in vv. 6-7 and it regards family structure:  “..Whole families shopping at night!  Aisles full of husbands!  Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes..” . This quotation  reflects in this institution break up: wives, husbands and children are not together but in different places of the supermarket.