My Fair Particle

My Fair Particle

Just you wait, Professor Higgs, just you wait!
it’ll be 125 or 126 years and then too late.
You’ll be profound, and I’ll be weighty;
Will I help you? Don’t think vainly!
Just you wait, Peter ‘iggs Sir, just you wait!

Just you wait, Peter ‘iggs Sir, till conCERNed,
and you disCERN the field or go quick off to mass
I’ll be gone a prayer second later and won’t even tip the waiter
Oh ho ho, Santa ‘iggs Sir, just you wait!

Ooooooh ‘eter ‘iggs Sir!
Just you wait when swimmin’ in the ether fine!
Ooooooh ‘eter ‘iggs Sir!
and you glitch in particle splash not far from me!

If you feel you’ll drown in soup I’ll get dressed
and reveal dark towns! Oh ho ho, ‘eter ‘iggs Sir!
Oh ho ho, ‘eter ‘iggs Sir! Just you wait!

One day I’ll be notorious! I’ll be complex and so dim;
Go to St. CERN so frequent I’ll name him Gadzooks!
One evening the queen will say:
“Oh, Boson, odd thing,
I command all the world your strangeness to sing.
Next week on the 4th of July
I proclaim Higgs Boson’s dark Day!
All the masses will tango in the dance of you
And in whatever demand you tangle me in I will do.”

“Merci beaucoup, Queeny” says I, with dark manners said;
But all me wants is ‘eters ‘iggs Sir’s ‘ead!”
“Let it be,” says the Queen like a joke.
“Guards, fetch and carry in the bloke!”
Then they’ll parade you, ‘eter ‘iggs Sir to the wall;
And the Queen’ll whisper darkly, “Boson, sound the call.”
As they charge their magnets higher, I’ll yell:
“Ready! Aim! Fire!”
Oh ho ho, ‘eter ‘iggs Sir,
astounded, ‘eter ‘iggs Sir!
Just you wait!

— Douglas Gilbert


3 thoughts on “My Fair Particle

  1. I liked all the CERN wordplay. I followed the rhyme and tune in my head as i read a long and it made me smile but it does get kind of dark at the end (and then i felt bad for smiling for some silly reason). I think it’s similar to how nursery rhymes sound all happy but might actually be about dark subject matters, for some reason it made me think of the ring around the rosies song and dance from when i was little.
    But anyway that LHC thing makes me a bit nervous. I’m sorry, i wanted to leave a better comment but i’m so sleepy and i’m having trouble thinking of anything. Great poem as always – i’m always so impressed by the words you come up with…

    1.     Thanks. I’m glad you could sing along because somewhere in the middle I got lost and couldn’t remember how it was supposed to sound. I worked off of the written lyrics and made a few changes but wasn’t sure if the song still would fit.
          It’s OK to smile because it’s not really “dark” in the sad way. “Dark Energy” and “Dark Matter” are just technical terms for unknown stuff. When they added up all the matter and energy that they could see or predict in the Universe, the calculations for how that known stuff would hold the universe together didn’t work. So they decided there must be other stuff out there that we can’t see or measure directly. They decided to call the missing stuff “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy” but they intended no evil connotation — just “dark” in the sense of unknown.
          OK, but there is a playful angry element. Just like Liza Doolittle in My Fair Lady is angry at Henry Higgins but only in a revenge fantasy but not in reality, the particle is annoyed that it’s been badgered to talk in a strange form of English that it doesn’t normally speak. And the firing of the atom-smasher actually creates the Higgs boson particle for a fraction of a second. So the “firing squad” is actually a positive thing. So the song analogies are askew and so it is funny and a smile is OK.

      1. You’re welcome. Well i’m glad it was ok to smile (giggling) and that it was just dark in the unknown way. I tend to second guess myself a lot lately and feel lost about everything. At the risk of embarrassing myself, I have to admit i’m pretty lost when it comes to physics, I never took physics in high school or college…i try to understand and i do grasp the very most basic level of it but that’s about it. Once math started showing up in chemistry i got lost and fell behind then didn’t take any further sciences…looking back, i probably should have found someone to tutor me.
        I suppose i don’t have much else to say at the moment, i guess i’ll get back to my pistachios and TV show. It’s weird, for years i thought i didn’t like pistachios, i’m not sure why i thought that, i don’t even remember ever trying them, but my mom sent a bag of them home with us a few months ago and now it’s one of my favorite snacks, i buy some almost every week at the grocery…anyway, i’ll stop going on about nuts, hope you’re doing good!

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