I sing of Charlie, glad and brave whose life we are to celebrate1
A scientist whose life and work can only be described as great.
Both Brooklyn born and Brooklyn grown, whose argot never left his tongue.
No Cambridge could unschool his accent. At Erasmus Hall2 it hung.
He grew up in McCarthy's time. In Brooklyn it was very hard
Especially since Charlie's father's pocket held a Pinko Card.
And then to Cambridge where instead to “Row for Jesus” he was sought.
Back to the other Cambridge then, to teach himself how he could be
A physiologist who'd travel far from Hubelness and Wieselry.
No oriented bars for him, but images. It makes me blush
To know that IT neurons thought that Charlie was a toilet brush.5
But tough when scientific opposition snarls and menaces
Just ask Pasko6 who has won on cortex neurogenesis.
A gentle man, with absent-mindedness admired near and far
No one can count the wealth he drove away from left atop his car.
And fearless, too. His exploits at exotic meals incredible.
Who has not seen him gobble down a dish they thought inedible?
A friend, a mentor and a mensch. A soul not bound by standard fetter,
And we all know that knowing Charlie serves to make our own lives better.
The structure is a bit of a takeoff from e.e. cumming's “i sing of Olaf.”
Charlie's and Eric Kandel's high school.
The guy who discovered that bats echolate.
The inventor of operant conditioning and the Skinner Box.
Everyone in Charlie's lab had a beard. Face neurons also responded to toilet brushes.
Charlie and Liz Gould said that new neurons migrate to the cortex. Pasko said that they were probably glia. Charlie and Liz were probably right.