What does how many, how much by shel silverstein mean?

i have to reflect on this poem for english, aand what i got out of it was live life to its fullest. but i really need to elaborate on that! help me please

How Many, How Much


How many slams in an old screen door?

Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread?

Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?

Depends how good you live 'em.

How much love inside a friend?

Depends how much you give 'em.

4 Answers

  • It's all in the last line. The outcome of anything you depends on what you put into it. A friendship will only be truly rewarding if you invest in it; likewise, you can cut a loaf of bread into ten pieces of five. It's up to you, to a certain extent, to determine the outcome of parts of your life.

  • It basically means that everything is relative to how much effort you put into it. The key to the poem is in the last two lines. That's where the "message" is. If you treat a friend well, like a loved one, then they will return the courtesy. If you treat a friend badly, they will return the favor.

  • o iluv Shel Silverstein, but i've never read this poem... i think it means you can control how things happen. That things are a certain way because of how they've been treated or how you've done something... maybe too deep??? 😀 😀 😀

  • Well ... I guess it's also about how you see things in your own way.

    Your day could have been wonderful ... if you think it was and you say it is.

    It depends. Could have been a lot, could have been a little. You can say if it was a lot, a little.

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