Hinges by Shel Silverstein

Growing up one of my favorite authors was Shel Silverstein. Shel Silverstein was a children’s book author who wrote the poem books A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and Falling Up and the picture books The Giving Tree, The Missing Piece, and Runny Babbit among many others. Each of these books were such an important part of my childhood and I read them more times than I can remember.

I recently came across a few of Shel’s poems while on Facebook. I instantly recognized the drawings and was reminded of the books I was so fond of as a child. Out of the poems, one stuck out to me more than any of the others and has been a sticky thought that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. The poem was Hinges and was in A Light in the Attic.


I have reread this specific poem every day since I first saw it on Facebook two weeks ago and it still lights a fire in my soul every time I read it. When I first saw this poem again I was upset. I was absolutely devastated because I felt Shel’s sorrow in this simple 4-line poem. I could feel my desire of wanting to take the “bad stuff out and leave the good stuff in.” This poem made me ugly cry. But after I finished feeling the sorrow, I realized that even though on my best days I still feel that there is “bad stuff” in my head, this “bad stuff” has helped shape me into the person I am.

This “bad stuff” has allowed me to become a caring and understanding person who wants to help ease the suffering of others; it has given me a new perspective on life and has made me fight for the life I want to live. This “bad stuff” isn’t really all that bad.

What do you think about this poem? If you could take out the “bad stuff” would you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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