The Shed


This tutorial consists of the summary of the poem written by Frank Flynn named “The Shed”, a detailed explanation, and the meaning of difficult words to clearly understand the meaning of the poem. We have also given a short description of the author and answered the questions from the text so that students might not have a problem during their exam preparation.

Synopsis of “The Shed”

The poem outlines the view of an old shed that has been closed for years and the speaker is curious to know what's inside whenever he sees it from his garden. Spider webs are covering the rusty door of the shed as it has not been opened for a long time. The joints of the door are so tarnished that they make creaky noises whenever the air touches it. The speaker desires to open the gate someday as he hears the noise lying on his bed. The poet moves forward detailing other parts of the shed as he sees a dusty window on the side whose glass is cracked. The cracked panes always make the poet feel terrified as he feels someone is watching him from inside the shed whenever he passes by. The speaker bravely says that he will be watching from that window someday and he would not fear that broken glass anyone.

The poet's brother tells him that a ghost lives inside that shed hiding under the decayed floor tiles and if he ever tries to enter the place the ghost would kill him. Even though the brother of the speaker tries to frighten him he wishes to look inside one day because he believes that there is no ghost inside. The speaker realizes that his brother is deceiving him to keep the place for himself as his cover house. The speaker daringly says that there is no one gazing or making noise in the shed and he will visit it soon but there is no rush as he should wait for the right time.

Detailed Explanation of The Shed

Stanza 1

There’s a shed at the bottom of our garden

With a spider’s web hanging across the door,

The hinges are rusty and creak in the wind.

When I’m in bed I lie and I listen,

I’ll open that door one day.

The poet here addresses the old shed standing on the corner of this house by the garden and there is a cobweb sticking on the door. The speaker can hear the creaking sound of the weary hinges whenever the air passes through them. The joints of the shed's door are rusted as the gate has not been opened for a while and the speaker wishes to open that door one day.

Stanza 2

There’s a dusty old window around at the side

With three cracked panes of glass,

I often think there’s someone staring at me

Each time that I pass,

I’ll peep through that window one day.

The speaker also sees a dirty window at the edge of the shed which has three broken glasses. He says that every time he passes over that place it feels like someone is staring at him but being a brave child he still wants to go inside someday and watch out from that frightening window himself.

Stanza 3

My brother says there’s a ghost in the shed

Who hides under the rotten floorboards,

And if I ever dare to set foot inside

He’ll jump out and chop off my head,

But I’ll take a peek one day.

Now the writer tells us how his brother has made up a story of some scary ghost as he says that the ghost is hiding below the broken wooden tiles. And if the speaker ever dares go inside the shed the ghost will come out and cut off his head. But the speaker still wants to go inside even after the threatening warning by his brother.

Stanza 4

I know that there isn’t really a ghost,

My brother tells lies to keep the shed for his den;

There isn’t anyone staring or making strange noisesi

My brother tells lies to keep the shed for his den;

And the spider has been gone from his web

since I don’t know when,

I’ll go into that shed one day soon,

But not just yet…

The poet reveals that he knows that there is no ghost hiding inside the shed and his brother has made this story to keep him away from that place because he will use it as his den. He says there is no one standing from the window staring at him or making odd sounds. Also, the spider has left the web on the shed's door but he doesn't know the exact time. However, the only thing he knows is that he will go inside soon and he is just waiting for the right time to come.

About The Author

Francis Stanislaus Flynn (born 1906 - died 2000) was a medical doctor, catholic priest, and author noted for his significant contribution to medicine and religion. Some of his important works include The Living Heart, Northern Gateway, Port Essington, and Rebuilding the Beacon: Point Smith. And 'The Shed' poem is one of his works that got published in the NCERT children's book for Class 7.

Difficult Words from the Lesson with Meanings

Hinge – Joint

Pane – Glass Sheet

Rotten – Decayed

Peek – Look

Floorboards – Floor Tiles


Qns 1. Who is the speaker in the poem?

Ans. The poet has not given an exact explanation of who is the speaker in the poem but it is believed that the poet himself is recalling one of his childhood memories.

Qns 2. Is she/he afraid or curious or both?

Ans. The speaker of the poem is both afraid and curious because he is terrified by the thought that someone is staring at him from the shed's window but he states at the end of every stanza curiously that he will go inside one day.

Qns 3. What is she/he planning to do soon?

Ans. The anonymous speaker is planning to visit the shed in his garden soon.

Qns 4. But not just yet…” suggests doubt, fear, hesitation, laziness, or something else. Choose the word which seems right to you. Tell others why you chose it.

Ans. The last line of the poem "but not just yet…" here suggests that the speaker is still not prepared to take on this brave adventure however he is not afraid of anything he is just awaiting the correct moment.

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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