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"Perfect" Chemistry

by fortis


Your heartbeats echo through test tubes and beakers.
You told me that salt complexes don’t cry,
so I've have streams of HCL running down instead.

They say all that glitters is not gold,
but gold is dull in its pure form.
Nothing glistens.

All my oxygen is binding into esters.
I can’t breathe.
You’re trying to make more by breathing backwards,
Turning CO₂ and water into that needed oxygen.
But you can't force your lungs to work in reverse.

Our “perfect” chemistry was flawed from the start,
Like all scientific theories are.
Like everything in the universe is,
because electrons are never perfect,
and nature never ever tells her secrets.

You have this flawed theory of love,
It won't react favorably,
and the products will spill all over the table.

There is no solution.


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Sun May 25, 2014 6:45 am
TheSybarite wrote a review...



Hey there...!
I absolutely loved reading your poem. Science is so, like, logical, and poetry is more art, more heart- felt. I never thought a combination of these two could ever work, but you just did that and did it so brilliantly! This piece was a joy to read. The second stanza is my personal favourite. It is so beautiful. Keep up the great work!




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Fri May 23, 2014 10:21 am
beeyaay wrote a review...



science an writing, i had no idea you could combine these two, beautiful though.
i studied science so i can absolutely relate with most terms but i'm sure there's a typo in the first stanza........right?
in the third stanza, i don't just get it, i don't think oxygen would bind on it's own or even with carbon dioxide to give Esters. Esterification is a much more different process.
apart from that when i went on, i fell into the rhythm of this and i enjoyed it.
My best line: "there is no solution", you couldn't have said it any better.
the title drew me in and it didn't completely disappoint....Good job dear!
keep writing!
Bee




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Fri May 23, 2014 5:53 am
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Monsters wrote a review...



Your heartbeats echo through test tubes and beakers.
You told me that salt complexes don’t cry,
so I've have streams of HCL running down instead.


Well.. you got the obvious: "I've" is a contraction of I and have so the way you use it is grammatically incorrect and you don't tell us what the HCL is running down (just makes the reader think about it for a minute).

The not so obvious: I don't understand what the salt complexes have to do with crying so maybe you could elaborate. The "streams" doesn't quite fit if you're talking about crying. Streams is like waterfalls so it's throwing your image off even though it's just for the dramatic effect. (Unless I'm way off here.)

All my oxygen is binding into esters.
I can’t breathe.
You’re trying to make more by breathing backwards,
Turning CO₂ and water into that needed oxygen.
But you can't force your lungs to work in reverse.


You could see a more clear message if you dumb it down a little: it's clearly your choice because you choose the audience but many people won't get all the chem references. Just the HCL reference and esters, this is just a thought.

__

I think the imagery is strong but not vivid: the poem could use some descriptions of everything really.

Other then that this is a pretty good poem: original (not the concept but the presentation), deep and makes the reader spend some time reflecting on the message or understanding the message without overdoing the gobbledygook. Nice job, Fortis!




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Thu May 22, 2014 6:53 pm
GoldFlame says...



LOTR reference. :D




fortis says...


...where? I've never seen (or read) LOTR except for the hobbit. :o



GoldFlame says...


"All that is gold does not glitter"



Monsters says...


It's a saying, it's used in many poems ect. Sadly, the worlds been copying itself for longer then it would like to admit.



Crimsona says...


I always thought that the original quote 'all that glisters is not gold' was from The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare but that been adapted over time. I could be wrong though :)



GoldFlame says...


Oh, I never knew that. That's interesting. :D



fortis says...


You're all right. All of you. I was inspired by both the merchant of venice, the led zeppelin song, and the general phrase.
Yes, the world likes to copy itself, and I am just another piece of paper it has inked up and spit out.



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Thu May 22, 2014 4:10 pm
BellaRoma wrote a review...



Ah, science and writing; my two favourite things in the whole wide world. This poem combines them neatly in a way one might not expect them to. I loved the way you also wove in the subject of love which, at it's most basic, is a series of chemicals. Not that I think you meant it that way. I do always love it when I read something with a connection to a passion of mine. You just went for it and that was great.
I would never have gotten away with trying to do a poem about science so you are more skilled than me. Well done for pulling it off.




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Thu May 22, 2014 12:52 pm
Auxiira says...



science themed love poem gets my love! <3




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Thu May 22, 2014 3:57 am
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Morrigan wrote a review...



Hi Fort!

So I won't be able to give you a detailed review on the sciencey type things, like niteowl. I'm no science major. But I am an English major!

Your heartbeats echo through test tubes and beakers.

So test tubes and beakers bothers me a bit. You could be much more specific. What kind of beaker is it echoing through? Is it something narrow like a Burette? Or is it echoing through something strange, like an Erlynmeyer flask? If you name a specific beaker, I think it will give us a more concrete image, along with something that sets a more appropriate tone for the rest of the poem (you get nice and specific a little later on).

so I've have streams

I've have?

I really like your second stanza, but I think it can be worded in a more elegant manner.
Perhaps try this:
"They say all that glitters is not gold,
but in its pure form, gold is dull—
nothing glitters."


All my oxygen is binding into esters.
This is a nitpick, but I think this would sound better without "all" at the beginning of the line.


But you can't force your lungs to work in reverse.
Here's an opportunity to use another science term. Photosynthesis is what came to mind when you mentioned CO2 and water. I think it would be wonderful if you said something about photosynthesis and plants. It would be another nice image to bring to the reader's mind.

Niteowl had a great comment on the perfect chemistry stanza. I support that opinion and will say nothing more about that stanza.

You have this flawed theory of love
I would say "a" instead of "this." It sounds better.

Another note on this stanza-- you use a lot of commas; you create a comma splice. You need a semi-colon or a period after the first line.

Altogether, I really enjoyed reading this. Nice job. I hope you found this review useful! Happy poeting!




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Thu May 22, 2014 2:29 am
Percybeth says...



Gah. In love with the science theme.




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Thu May 22, 2014 1:11 am
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niteowl wrote a review...



Hi there fortis! Now since I work in a lab I think I have to review this. :)

Overall, I really like this. I think you use the science imagery very well and it makes for a really unique poem.

You told me that salt complexes don’t cry,
so I've have streams of HCL running down instead.


First off, a small quibble: Salts and complexes are two different things. Salts are solid ionic compounds, while complexes are anions that surround a cation (usually a metal like iron or copper). Salts don't complex, although the freed ions might. Linky for more info I don't even think they talk about this much in high school chemistry, but it still bugged me.

I'd offer a suggestion, but I'm not sure what you were trying to really say with this line, which is probably a bigger problem from the poeting perspective. I mean, of course salty solutions don't cry--that's the byproduct of our tears. It seems like what you're getting at is that normal tears just aren't enough. In that case, I suggest "You told me ionic tears meant nothing /so streams of HCl run down instead".

Our “perfect” chemistry was flawed from the start,
Like all scientific theories are.
Like everything in the universe is,
because electrons are never perfect,
and nature never ever tells her secrets.


This stanza starts off pretty bland, but I love the last two lines. I'd consider scrapping lines 2 and 3 (boring), and reworking the first line. Ditch the quotes, they draw unnecessary attention. Perhaps "Our perfect chemistry is a failed hypothesis"?

You have this flawed theory of love,
It won't react favorably,
and the products will spill all over the table.


Another quibble: A scientific theory is not the same thing as what we consider a theory in everyday life. A theory is a hypothesis that has been tested over time and has held up to scrutiny. Gravity is a theory. What your couple has here is a hypothesis that has been disproven, hence my suggestion above.

I also feel like "It won't react favorably" is kind of a missed opportunity. If I were writing this, I would definitely use the concept of the Delta G here. Basically, you can look up some numbers in a table, balance a reaction, do some arithmetic, and if the DG is negative, the reaction should happen. If it's positive, no go.

Aaaaaand I now realize you are seeing "favorable" in a totally different light than I am. Product spilling on the table...isn't that what you want? Sure it's kind of messy (as I learned when I accidentally made a grown-up version of the volcano experiment one time), but NOTHING AT ALL? That is literally MY WORST NIGHTMARE as a scientist in training, hence the caps. Hence I think it would be much more powerful if the Delta G between our would-be lovers is postive and thus, they cannot react.

I know I'm being a little critical. You...probably weren't expecting a review from a Ph.D. candidate. :P However, that said, I love seeing people write science-y poems and I think you did a lovely job. Keep writing! :D





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