Supermarket In Califorina And Constantly Risking Absurdity

1383 words - 6 pages

“A Supermarket in California” and “Constantly Risking Absurdity”
Allen Ginsberg’s poem “A Supermarket in California” and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “Constantly Risking Absurdity” describe the struggle within to find beauty and self worth. Where Allen Ginsberg is lost in the market, desperately trying to find inspiration from Walt Whitman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti portrays the image of the poet frantically trying to balance on a high wire, risking not only absurdity, but also death. Both of these poems deal with their poet’s struggle to find meaning and their fears of failure. Where Ginsberg fears he will never find Whitman’s dream, Ferlinghetti fears falling off the high wire and being submitted to absurdity and death.
     In the beginning of Allen Ginsberg “A Supermarket in California”, Ginsberg comes to the supermarket, having a headache and being fatigued. This illustrates his physical and psychological exhaustion. Searching for inspiration or something that will clinch his thrust, it appears to him in the form of his mentor and hero, Walt Whitman. Ginsberg describes him as a sad lonely old man—an image displaying Whitman’s style of poetry in modern America, lost within a distorted view of what Whitman dreamed America would become (Analysis of “A Supermarket in California”). Ginsberg, with the help of Walt Whitman, is trying to find his way home, just like Odysseus’ odyssey for Ithaca. Ginsberg’s home is an openly tolerant society with spiritual orientation to the world. “Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?” In these lines, Ginsberg is turning toward Whitman for guidance, only to find that Whitman himself is incoherent to his surroundings. He is seen as the old ways, obsolete to an artificial mass produced America. Ginsberg is left, homeless and in despair. Readers last see Walt Whitman on a smoky bank, staring back at his dream of America across Lethe (the river of forgetting), a forgotten dream in modern society which Ginsberg is frantically trying to discover (Ginsberg).
     To clarify Ginsberg’s struggle, one must first understand Walt Whitman and his relationship to Ginsberg. Whitman viewed America as open, democratic, tolerant, accepting, ever-questioning, and grand in scale (Miller). Many of Walt Whitman’s poems have outdoor settings that symbolize his vision of a free open-minded America. Ginsberg decides to portray an opposite setting than Whitman’s poems in order to show how Whitman’s dream is not present in today’s society. A society, as Tyrus Miller claims, is “an era of anti-Communist witch hunts, preprocessed food, television advertising, and nuclear bombs.” Ginsberg is inspired by Walt Whitman’s dream of a diverse society. Although he is inspired, Ginsberg clearly lacks the confidence in himself and modern America to achieve this dream. He has many fears and displays them in numerous ways. The supermarket...

Find Another Essay On Supermarket in Califorina and Constantly Risking Absurdity

Comparative Analysis Paper: "The Ferryer" by Sharon Olds, "A Supermarket in California" by Allen Ginsberg and "The Junior High School Band Concert" by David Wagoner

942 words - 4 pages Comparative Analysis Paper PAGE 4 Comparative Analysis PaperHeather PattenLIT/120Business LiteratureUniversity of PhoenixDr. Kimberly LockwoodMarch 19, 2007IntroductionThis paper will analyze three poems. The poems chosen for this paper are "The Ferryer", Sharon Olds, "A Supermarket in California", by Allen Ginsberg, and "The Junior High School Band Concert", by David Wagoner. The analysis will discuss poetic techniques used by the poets. This

First reaction on Howl, Footnote to Howl, A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg, short analysis on contextual and structural devices used

802 words - 3 pages Despite my little interest in poetry, I found myself astounded and aggressively taken away with Allen Ginsberg’s works. This is the first time I have ever read such provocative, explosive, and controversial poems; also the first time I heard about “Beat generation.” Being exposed to Howl, Footnote to Howl and A Supermarket in California helps me understand the meaning of “beat movement,” and why Ginsberg was such an

The Quest for the Ideal

932 words - 4 pages perfection with often insurmountable odds. The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson and Chicken Hips by Catherine Pigott and Constantly Risking Absurdity and Death by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the quest for the ideal is a futile and challenging process which often results in failure and often proves to be damaging to the individual. The artist is one who often must isolate themselves from human contact to achieve the ideal. This is portrayed in The Lady of


1530 words - 7 pages strategic plan, based primarily on distribution-oriented options, to exceed the $20 million revenue mark by the end of FY 2001. This was fueled by the withdrawal of the venture capitalist firm. The distribution strategies revolve around staying in the natural foods stores or further expanding out in to the supermarket channel. Therefore, the problem definition is that there is a need to expand and increase customer base to drive sales which would

The idea of the absurd in the stranger

916 words - 4 pages importance of the physical world, and his indifference towards life itself.Although The Stranger is a fiction novel, it has a sturdy tone of Camus's philosophical notion of absurdity. Camus portrays that individual lives and human existence in general have no rational meaning or order. But, because people have difficulty accepting this notion, they constantly attempt to identify or create rational structure and meaning in their lives. The term

The History Of Skateboarding

1065 words - 4 pages take off for skateboarding. In 1963 Larry's group made the first professional skateboard and a team was made to promote the skateboard. The first skateboard competition was at Pier Avenue Junior High School. It was in Hermosa, Califorina in 1963. The next year surfer, Hobie Alter, joined up with Vita Pakt juice comany and they made one of the most popular brands, Hobie skateboards. Some brave people were starting to adventure into skating

Albert Camus’ Concept of Absurdity and Happiness

2971 words - 12 pages a necessary condition that man has to go through to reach genuine happiness. Finally to end this paper, for the researcher life is absurd, is because of our uncertainties in life , and since absurdity is a situation , man must constantly struggle in one’s absurdity of life to be able to understand the kind of meaning one can really have. Since every achievement or sense of fulfillment would always come from the struggles we had in our lives

Central Themes in As I Lay Dying by Faulkner

792 words - 4 pages window and Vardaman drills holes in the coffin after Addie's death. As a hero, Jewel injures himself by saving Addie’s corpse from the burning farm, risking his life for a dead object. These activities point to ironic yet inappropriate behaviors that characterize the absurdity of the Bundrens' journey. According to classical archetypes, the antagonist, Anse, should not win at the end. Anse invites his children to “meet Mrs. Bundren (p. 261),” which

Sartreist absurdity in the works of Pynchon

795 words - 3 pages narrativity, but rather the collapse of culture. Therefore, the premise of dialectic appropriation holds that language is used to entrench outdated, sexist perceptions of sexual identity, given that cultural postconceptualist theory is invalid. The example of Sartreist absurdity intrinsic to Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 is also evident in V.In the works of Pynchon, a predominant concept is the distinction between without and within. Thus

Information Systems

1994 words - 8 pages entities, especially the supermarkets (Reponen 2003). Due to large markets, various business entities have found it more convenient to adopt the use of information system and Information technology to both manage the large customer data and also reach them in the global market (Burgess, 2002). This report centers on the use of Information Technology/Information System in Tesco Supermarket. It begins by giving a brief overview of the supermarket

Film Analysis: The Hurt Locker

1138 words - 5 pages , giving a sense of realism in the film. The film’s mise-en-scene creates a believable Iraq War settings with the use costumes, weaponry, and all the grime and dirt present in places which sells the idea. Sounds and symbolism is used to show heavy tension amongst the soldiers .The film also contrasts James’s time in Iraq and his life back in America using the Supermarket scene. The idea portrayed in this film is the addiction to war which can be

Similar Essays

Poem Commentary: Constantly Risking Absurdity By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

1027 words - 4 pages Constantly Risking Absurdity by Lawrence FerlinghettiCommentaryConstantly risking absurdity is a poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The poem is an extended metaphor comparing writing poetry to preforming dangerous acrobatics. It has a very original layout and complicated structure. The poem is not very long, but it is precise and clear, it does so through great use of imagery and diction. It is the harsh truth of poetry writing, and really of all

Daring To Be Beautiful: Interpretation Of The Poem "Constantly Risking Absurdity" Lawrence Ferlinghetti

716 words - 3 pages Writer 1WriterEnglish 250ProfessorDateDaring to Be BeautifulIn "Constantly Risking Absurdity", Lawrence Ferlinghetti describes the tumultuous journey of the poet, using a metaphor between the poet and an acrobat. The poet and acrobat are alike in that they are both risk takers. While the acrobat risks his limbs and life, the poet risks his reputation in society. In addition to that, the acrobat strives to create Beauty with his body, while the

Absurdity And Satire In The Importance Of Being Earnest

1687 words - 7 pages Absurdity and Satire in The Importance of Being Earnest In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, much is made of societal expectations, protocols, as well as the inversions of these expectations. A character, Jack Worthing, adopts an alter ego when going into town to avoid keeping up with the serious and morally upright behaviour that is expected of him as guardian to his eighteen-year-old ward, Cecily. Another character, Algernon

Self Service Supermarket And Discrimination Issue In America

1545 words - 6 pages Name : Andrina Anissa SofyanNPM : 180410110064Class : BSelf-service Supermarket and Discrimination Issue in AmericaNowadays, all people around the world have known about the concept of self-service supermarket, a concept that makes the customers to get their own stuff they want to buy in the shelf and bring it to the cashier, and there is also a new concept about self-service checkout machines which provide a mechanism for customers to pay