A Supermarket in California-Does the incongruous image of the respected poet “poking/among the meats” (paragraph 4) in the supermarket strengthen the poem’s impact, or does it undercut any serious “message” the poem might have? Explain.
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In my opinion, these lines detract from what we initially see as Ginsberg's admiration for Whitman. The lines in question are actually meant to be a double entendre, “poking among the meats” is a crude term used to describe male intercourse; “eyeing the grocery boys”, in turn, is an allusion to Whitman’s alleged sexual fondness for young boys.
A Supermarket in California