Be like Balthazar

Before I knew about the
Buckminsterfullerene or Feynman diagrams
or even entropy, there was Professor Balthazar.

Inventor, superhero, chemist and a physicist.
That was Balthazar.

I saw myself in Bowler hat — imagined potions
and machines diluting stress;
me a physicist.

I studied hard;
had fun with wave equations and imaginary numbers
but as I conquered science frontiers
I found another, and beyond another and soon I realized
how far it is to go;
how much it is like steeplechase before I am like Balthazar.

So I have given up but pardon me
I still considers to buy myself a bowler hat.

Paul asks us to write about some childhood programs that we grew up with at toads. My choice was for Professor Balthazar.

January 12, 2017

12 responses to “Be like Balthazar

  1. This poem tickles me today because of the timing, along with the prompt being about childhood programs. I recently listened to a TED presentation by Mae Jemison about the importance of teaching science and art together. She discusses how people think of the fields as being vastly different, but how the creativity of art and the logical side of science blend and strengthen each other. Anyway, it brought that presentation to mind while I read about you becoming a physicist in a poem.
    I suspect the bowler hat will be an interesting addition to your wardrobe. 🙂

  2. A good story, Bjorn. A biography in a nutshell. I didn’t have your ambition, just a desire to work inside. Then I had a University of Nebraska Board of Regents throw a scholarship at me and I took it. Later I discovered my potential but before that I squandered a bunch of it. I did get to be an Aerospace Engineer with a long Army school and experience in lieu of a degree. Later I finished my degree and got another, JD (law degrer). I didn’t practice but taught. You could probably could make that all into a poem.
    I did enjoy your position though, of wa n ting and trying to be a Balthazar. Thank you.

  3. What a lovely way to be so inspired as a child – all the magical possibilities of a Professor in a bowler hat.
    p.s. Your titular command summoned images of Donleavy’s novel with a very different kind of science/art – have you read “the Beastly Beatitudes of Baltazhar B”?!

  4. Ah, I surmise the early childhood inspiration for your chosen career path. So interesting what may stimulate the imagination at a young age.

  5. And so many cartoons that introduced children to classical music. Bugs Bunny in his yellow yarn braids and Viking hat singing opera, not that it inspired me to a music career but it was educational.

  6. Bjorn, this comment is a message as I haven’t another way that I know of reaching you. You can delete it when you’ve finished with it.
    I’ve read some of your liking of quantum physics so I thought of you when this article appeared about its use in communications through “Quantum Radio”. It is the lead article in my current ARRL newsletter for Amateur Radio Operators. (My call is K1TLT which I received in 1961 when I was working as an Aerospace Engineer at an Air Force satellite tracking station in New Hampshire. I tested in Boston, Massachusetts, and have continously kept my license and have upgraded it to Extra Class. )
    The Publicarion:
    Jim Hovendick
    K1TLT [at]
    (also on Facebook )

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