Robert David Siegel

Paul Frederick Basch

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The Parasitologist


I give you now Professor Basch
With expertise of worm and rash,
Of Strongyloides and Loa loa,
And nasty little protozoa,
Of lice and other arthropods,
From distant venues and nearby quads,
Of giant livers and giant spleens,
Assassin bugs, triatomines,
Megacolon and tales of Chaga,
Chiclero ear, the Wrigley saga.
With playful glee he'd try to shock us
With movies of Echinococcus
Sardonically he would explain
That schistosomes "make love in vein".
With vivid pictures, exotic terms
He's open up each can of worms
An endless source of anecdotes
Of odious eukaryotes.

Paul had stories, quite a few
Each time he'd talk of something new.
One breakfast meeting he'd explain
How he'd been on the kindertrain.
Another time he said he flew in
To Tikal and left a ruin.
And once he mentioned he did try 
To leave his heart in Old Shanghai.
Upon the news his loving bride
Did rush across the ocean wide.
She stayed with him then brought him back
To nurse him from his heart attack.
And fate would give him, it appears,
Twenty-six productive years.

So I repeat lest one forgets:
Professor Basch had no regrets.
Professor Basch was in the end
Teacher, scholar, mentor, friend.

Robert Siegel

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modified: January 6, 2002
reformat: September 25, 2011