Monday, November 7, 2016

Happy Birthday, Marie Curie

Today, November 7, is the birthday of Marie Curie (1867-1934, Nobel prize in physics, 1903).  Curie is celebrated in this poem by Richard Aston, first posted in this blog on December 6, 2014 along with two other math-science-themed poems.

Scientist     by Richard Aston

It took more than a figure, face, skin, and hair
for me to become Marie Curie,
wife of simple, smiling, selective, Pierre
who could recognize — because he was one — my genius.

My contribution was more
than that of arbitrarily assigning
the names of alpha, beta, and gamma to
the particles that emerged from my
lead well into a magnetic field
that deflected them right, left, or not at all.

It was more than naiveté for me
to say, No, to the idea of applying for
a patent on the process of extracting
radium from pitchblende.

Preparation, planning, persistence and my
focus were only elements of
what counted more in my daily abandon
to a work I knew was going somewhere.

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