Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face Analysis by Jack Prelutsky

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“Be Glad Your Nose Is On Your Face” is a poem written by the American poet Jack Prelutsky.  He was born on September 8, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood comprising of Jewish, Irish & Italian families. In 2006 he was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. The fact that he is a children’s writer indicates that his poems have a whimsical tone. It is evident upon reading this poem & it also becomes clear that it contains an important message for children to learn & understand. Though the poem’s writing focuses on the body, the inherent meaning has more depth thus illuminating on the virtues of living with gratitude & appreciation. So more here  is the be glad your nose is on your face poem analysis


Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face Poem Explanation

be glad your nose is on your face poem consists of five stanzas, each composed of four lines. Each stanza follows an AABB rhyme scheme. An AABB scheme is entertaining & easy to follow, both of which are highly important & motivating to children. The poem flows with a natural ease and this helps to propel it forward. Both the rhyme scheme & the structure of the poem is of cardinal importance in gaining the attention of the targeted audience. In this case, the rhyme scheme works well with the topic at hand thus lending a touch of playfulness to the poem. Moreover, the structure also provides focus & centers the attention of the reader to the two rhyming lines at hand. As a result, the reader feels truly engaged with the poem & ends up grasping the underlying meaning. Overall based on the ways in which Prelutsky has designed this poem for children, it is a work of art & intellect.

The wording of the first stanza allows a childlike tone to be embraced, given that no word is beyond the child’s understanding. The poem begins by stating “Be glad your nose is on your face/not pasted on some other place” to immediately set down an idea for the rest of the poem. It then proceeds to state the details of what it would really be like to have your nose placed elsewhere on your body. Even the idea of using the “nose” in this fashion is such a leap of logic that it fits perfectly into the thought process of a child. It provokes the reader to imagine what would happen should a person’s nose be on his/her feet, on top of the head, or in the ear. This has been illustrated with the aid of vivid & picturesque examples describing in depth the experience of having the nose placed somewhere else other than your face.

be glad your nose is on your face poem is light-hearted & imparts a moral that is both humorous & whimsical enough to catch the reader’s attention. This is apparent from the first reading of the poem itself. On paying a closer attention to the message behind the literal words, the reader begins to truly understand the importance of gratitude. The poet intends to convey to the reader that he should be glad for things the way it is, rather than hoping for it to change. Through these lines “for it was where it is not/you might dislike your nose a lot” the poet successfully denotes the unpleasant situations if the nose were to be placed elsewhere. The poem then proceeds to highlight how the change could actually leave the reader much less happy then he/she currently is. People have the habit of constantly wishing for more, as a result, they are never satisfied.


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The underlying lesson in the poem leaves an everlasting impression on the reader’s mind. It is nothing short of a wonder as to how the poet manages to perpetuate a jovial mood and at the same time impart a profound message to the reader. The poet’s placing of the nose as being “sandwiched in between the toes” evokes both an image of comedy & also discomfort at the thought of being “forced to smell your feet.” This constant discomfort ultimately points out to the reader in a covert fashion that changing the position of something so important could hold very irreversible consequences. So we have to be grateful for what we have got & not seek out to change things that are perfectly good as they are.

The poet urges the reader to consider thinking in a somewhat unconventional manner. be glad your nose is on your face poem explores an interesting & quirky notion of the nose being placed somewhere else in the body other than the face. This in itself is “unconventional.” It further encourages the reader to think “out of the box.” The reader is presented with a new outlook & scenario. The manner in which the poem is portrayed opens up the mind of the reader & evokes his imagination. Now, with an open mind & flowing imagination, the reader is able to delve deeper into the poem’s meaning. This aids in analyzing the poem in depth beyond what is simply laid out on the page.

 It is important to take the time to understand that things happen as they do for a reason. Often we might not be able to understand the actual reason but it does not mean that it is unfavorable. The reader is sort of relieved in the end to find the nose still sticking to his/her face. By being grateful about the nose on our face the poet is telling the reader to be grateful for little things in life & learning to appreciate everything we have such as our family, friends or even just being grateful for being able to wake up in the morning. Thus the poem ends on a wonderful note teaching the reader to be grateful & embrace their true selves.  

Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face Theme

The overarching theme of “Be Grateful Your Nose Is On your Face” is gratitude. It reminds us to be grateful for everything in life. It is through appreciating what we have, rather than focusing on what we do not or what we wish to change, that we can truly be content in life. We often want to believe that if we had that one missing thing replaced, or a slight change in the situation that we might be better off. In doing so we fail to realize the actual impact such adjustments may have on life and that those effects could be highly negative. The poem encourages the reader to imagine & helps transport him to a different world. The nose is used as a metaphor for something that we have in our lives, the poet is able to illustrate that if our noses were in any other place it wouldn’t benefit us at all. The poet through the poem shows the reader that it is sometimes easy to overlook some of the positive things in our lives, & it is also very easy to concentrate on the negative facets of these things.

The desire to change things can often be overwhelming but the changes we desire may, in fact, be negative & contrary to our perception. It is of crucial of importance to embrace the things we have for what it is rather than wishing to change it. The poem has a subtle vibe to it & yet at the same time teaches both the adults and the young the virtues of gratitude & appreciation. Sadly, people have forgotten the essence of these values & the poem is a reminder for the people to nurture these values. The humor in the poem warms the reader’s heart & fondly reminds him of his childhood. The picturesque depiction of the nose laid out in the poem is easy enough for the reader to follow. By providing many glaring instances of the changes accompanied by discomfort the poet wants the reader to learn from these examples. In a society where everything seems to be taken for granted this poem is a reminder to acknowledge & uphold these values. The poem imparts a positive message of gratitude & self-acceptance.

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