Alan Ginsberg: A Supermarket in California

The movement nevertheless spawned the Hippie movement, which targeted, among other issues, commercialization.

Poets like Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Jack Kerouac wrote against the oppression of the notion of "having.aE They were influenced by Buddhism (have, not have), which they combined with the ideas of American transcendentalist theory promulgated by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. As Buddhists, the Beat poets saw as harmful the widespread American inclination towards instant gratification. They believed that attempts to fulfill a deeper spiritual void with ever increasing purchases of material objects could only expand that void, rather than fill it.

Buddhist ideology places little value on the individual, and Ginsberg's "selfaE in this poem ("I saw...aE) acknowledges that he must begin outside the self, with the force of external circumstance. Like Whitman, Ginsberg's "I" seeks to achieve oneness with the cosmos. When a poet says, "I,aE he or she intends that to mean "we.aE To be effective, a poet must speak universally. Like Whitman, Ginsberg, in this poem, takes up the burden of


 
 
 
 
 
 



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