Supermarket in California, English homework help – Excelsior Writers |
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as a starting point, do a comparative analysis of sexual imagery in at least two of these poems. How does sex play a role in each poem, and how does that compare with each other? Use specific quotes from the texts to support your claims.

III) As You Read“Supermarket in California”:

A) Content

1) Consuming and not communing

a. Compare this to Whitman. Again we have a writer doing an everyday mundane thing – going to the grocery store – and finding some deeper meaning in the experience. But this has a different tone and feel, no? What is that tone and feel? How do we know?

b. This is mid-century, just after WWII, a time of prosperity and consumerism. What does the poem tell us about that time? And why would it be set in a supermarket of all places?

i. Note also the first mention of technology in this class.

c. What is he saying to Whitman? How does it compare to Whitman’s message to his readers (which, of course, includes Ginsberg)?

B) Form

1) Ginsberg is clearly influenced by the star of his poem, Whitman. How does the structure of this poem show that influence?

2) Allusion: What are the references to Charon and Lethe about?

3) Alliteration: I see at least two examples in this poem. Do you?

IV) As You Read “Defending Walt Whitman”:


2) Courting and communing

a. Another everyday event, a basketball game, and another deeper meaning to it.

b. Also another poem starring Walt Whitman, and again he is asking questions and reaching out to other people. How does that go in Ginsberg’s poem versus Alexie’s poem?

c. Title examination: Any basketball fans out there? What does it mean to “defend” someone? Does the word have more than one meaning? If so, how does that give meaning to this poem’s title? What is the game?

C) Form

a. Alexie is also influenced by the star of his poem, Whitman. How does the structure of this poem show that influence?

b. Allusion: Why is Kuwait mentioned? What is its potential meaning?

c. Repetition: Lots of repeated phrases and lines here, including “Every body is brown!” Why is it “every body” versus “everybody” and why does Alexie keep repeating the skin color? The last time we really discussed race was Douglass…

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