“Be Gad Your Nose is on Your Face” by American poet Jack Prelutsky, named a U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2006, is yet another of his hilarious poems. Through it, he is spreading the message that we should be grateful for whatever we have without complaining or changing it.
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Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face
BY JACK PRELUTSKY
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
Imagine if your precious nose
were sandwiched in between your toes,
that clearly would not be a treat,
for you’d be forced to smell your feet.
Your nose would be a source of dread
were it attached atop your head,
it soon would drive you to despair,
forever tickled by your hair.
Within your ear, your nose would be
an absolute catastrophe,
for when you were obliged to sneeze,
your brain would rattle from the breeze.
Your nose, instead, through thick and thin,
remains between your eyes and chin,
not pasted on some other place–
be glad your nose is on your face!
Analysis of Prelutsky’s “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face”
“Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” published in 2008 is another of Jack Prelutsky’s comic poems written especially for children. In his poem, he asks the readers to be glad of their nose, because it is where it should be – if it were someplace else, we might have disliked our “nose a lot”.
Had our noses been placed between our toes, attached on top of our heads or even inside our noses, it would have been rather inconvenient for us. He further provides various comic analogies until wrapping up with “be glad your nose is on your face!”
The theme is also the moral of the poem – be grateful for what you have. Prelutsky provides various humorous imagery of placing the nose in the oddest places and then adds the equally bizarre consequences to describe why it is best to be satisfied with what one has. The poem reads like a simple nursery rhyme, even the lexis is rather basic so that children can find sheer pleasure by reading it without scratching their heads.
Jack Prelutsky’s attempt to give children an understanding of core values is praiseworthy – he ropes them in by the playfulness of the poem and then enlightens them. Although he uses “precious” to describe the nose, his metaphorical jest starts when he places the nose all over the body – the toe, the head, and the ears.
When the nose is “sandwiched in between your toes”, the nose would be forced to do nothing but smell feet all the time. This shows us that the nose is already in its best position, and placing it elsewhere will make it a nuisance. In the last stanza, the message asking “to be glad” for what one has is provided again, so that the readers do not lose the underlying message in all the razzmatazz of the “nose-placement”.