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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Red Alert! This conversation is about to reference some real old school, French poetic styles. If Alexie wasn't such a poetry ninja, this part would put us to sleep. Luckily, Alexie's handling of t...

Speaker

Oh, our poor speaker. He just can't do anything, right can he? In that sense, he's the classic ne'er-do-well dad, always trying, never succeeding, to do good. Yep, he's a pretty typical guy. And th...

Setting

Basically, "Dangerous Astronomy" opens in the son's dark bedroom and remains there until the final stanza when the speaker "walked outside and praised the stars." However, throughout the poem, a te...

Sound Check

"Dangerous Astronomy" has a sing-songy feel because of all that repetition and rhyme, but it's also very casual and conversational, as if someone is recounting a story to a friend. This is particul...

What's Up With the Title?

When you hear "Dangerous Astronomy," where does your mind go? Shmoop's goes straight to disaster movies—you know, the really apocalyptic ones, with asteroids colliding with the earth and wiping o...

Calling Card

While it's hard to identify this poem as belonging to Sherman Alexie, we can recognize his conversational tone and his reliance on natural imagery. Although Alexie doesn't make a habit out of writi...

Tough-o-Meter

Although Sherman Alexie's "Dangerous Astronomy" uses a lot of repetition and figurative language in a traditional form, he uses a laidback, conversational tone throughout the poem. That doesn't mea...

Trivia

Ever thought bookish writers can't be into stuff like sports? Think again. Sherman Alexie is an avid fan of basketball, particularly the Seattle Sonics. In fact, he even testified during a trial to...

Steaminess Rating

Even though the speaker mentions his wife's breast, there's nothing steamy going on here at all. He's simply watching his wife breastfeed their son in the dark, and although it gets him a bit jealo...
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