Inspired By Jack Prelutsky's Nose Poem
A Lesson Learned
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!
This humorous poem, Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face, by American poet, Jack Prelutsky is meant for children. However, many adults could learn a thing or two from it. Beyond providing a good laugh, it proves to remind us of a very important lesson. When our nose wanders i.e. when we don’t mind our own business, the result can be very unpleasant.
Reading the poem, we see a nose, our nose, as an entity of its own. It has fallen from our face and is wandering about. It is between our toes, having to smell the odor of our feet. It is on our head, being tickled by our hair. It is in our ear, giving us a headache each time we sneeze. Prelutsky makes us realize how ideal it is to have a nose on our face. To have a nose located any place else would only be trouble.
Thinking of our nose as a mind set, we know when its where it should be and when its wandered. Like a face without a nose, it becomes obvious to others when we’re making their business our own. We become freakish, something to be gawked at. Thanks to our nosiness, we are made to feel unwanted. We no longer like ourselves. The once curious soul has now become the material of curiosity.
Through Prelutsky’s direct, understandable language, his underlying meaning becomes clear. As his imagery is geared towards children, it is a comfortable way to teach any age group to mind their own business. By reading this poem along with a young person, we are given the same message, but through their eyes. We are not being attacked, but, rather, being educated along with our young person. In a non condescending way, he softens a harsh lesson and politely recommends people to mind their manners. He teaches through example, the best way, in my opinion, to help people rid themselves of bad habits. If you believe, as the poet obviously does, that teaching children early the difference between right and wrong is an effective way to save them some embarrassment and trouble later on, this poem can be a wonderful teaching tool.
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