Friday, August 24, 2012

The Love Song of J. Alfred Phase-Transfer Catalyst

with apologies to T.S. Eliot:

...No! I am not Grubbs' catalyst, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant molecule, one that will do
To fill a scheme, make a bond or two,
Accompany an ion; no doubt, an easy tool
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Crystalline, cautious, and alkyl-filled;
Full of non-polarity, but a bit basic;
At times, indeed, almost a ligand --
Certainly, at times, a Salt.

Shall I part my chains behind? Shall I put them in my reach?
I shall wear my charges proudly, and walk upon the beach.
I have seen the products bonding, each to each.

I do not think that they will bond to me.


  1. Well done, sir! (wipes tear)

  2. Hey CJ, now your every post is getting spammed! It means you must have graduated to the big leagues. Congrats!

    1. Thanks? I find it depressing that the spam filter cannot do its work. Sigh.

  3. Very good... I think you got the meter down right, but you left some of the original endings there for rhyming purposes. The original was one of the best English poems ever written.

    Now, if you change one of the best pieces of short prose ever written into a sermon on the employment situation in chemistry...

    Give John Donne's 'Meditation 17' a try.

    1. It's a little preachy, but that's the 17th century for you. Two (maybe three) of our famous sayings/idioms come from that short piece from 400 years ago.

  4. Bravo, you dared to disturb the chemical blogoverse.

  5. This has even more relevance now in light of the recent Org. Lett. retraction!
    See for further info.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20