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Galileo and Newton and Einstein and Bohr
Are egg-headed heroes of legend and lore.
In the annals of science they’re bona fide giants,
The belles of the physicists’ ball.
But their brains notwithstanding, you’ve got to admit
That for jocular genius, for wisdom with wit,
For sheer creativity and hyperactivity,
It’s Feynman who’s king of them all!
Ideas were his passion, his work was his play.
He helped split the atom, explained “weak decay.”
His mind was so quick, he made rivals look thick,
And his colleagues were often struck dumb.
His lectures were brilliant, his insights sublime.
He safe-cracked the secrets of matter and time.
He’d dash off some articles on waves and/or particles,
Then kick back and bang on his drum.
He’d tell a tall tale with his trademark panache.
He discovered the cause of the Challenger crash.
He dreamed of a trek from his home at Caltech
To Tuva, a land little-known.
But it chanced that a cancer aborted his quest,
And soon Dr. Feynman was laid to his rest.
So ended this sage of the nuclear age
Who had marched to a beat of his own.