Study Guide

Dangerous Astronomy Spirituality

By Sherman Alexie

Spirituality

I wanted to walk outside and praise the stars, (1)

The speaker begins on a spiritual premise. He wants to go outside and praise nature. So far, it sounds like he has good intentions. You can't blame a guy for feeling spiritual, can you?

[…] I know this is stupid stuff
But I felt less important than the farthest star. (11-12)

The speaker calls himself out here… or at least, he seems a little embarrassed about how he's feeling. He feels small and far away while watching his wife and son in the bedroom. Not what you'd expect, but maybe this feeling of unimportance seems to become crucial to his spiritual growth.

Was my comfort more important than the stars? (15)

Here the speaker questions his motivation for praising the stars at the beginning of the poem. At first, he just wants to go outside and admire creation. Next thing we know, he's wondering if he's more important than what he wanted to praise. This guy needs an ego-check, pronto.

[…] Forgive me, Rough
God, because I walked outside and praised the stars,
And thought I was more important than the stars. (17-19)

Let's say our speaker meant well but life served him a big fat slice of humble pie. Probably didn't taste that great, but once it went down, he came to a new understanding of his spiritual perspective. So that's something.

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