In Poems

Helen Teasdale

I’ll give you several clues to identify me,
number one is that I’m in block d.

First isolated by a Swedish Man,
a chemist named Johan Gottlieb Gahn
Discovered prior though by Carl Wilhelm Scheele,
and I’m a brittle solid at STP.

Fifth most abundant element in the Earth’s crust,
and for the majority of enzymes I’m absolute must.

Used throughout history to make colourless glass,
and more modernly fixing sulfur in steel – I’m top class
Most stable as an isotope with atomic number 55,
I’m difficult to fuse but easy to oxidize.

Through photosynthesis, your atmosphere I help restore,
Find me in Mendeleev table – group 7, period 4.

If you haven’t guessed me yet here the final clue,
my electron configuration is [Ar] 3d5 4s2

There is 118 elements to name as you please,
but I am the one and only the mighty Manganese.


About the Author

I’m Helen and I’m a West Cumbrian, outdoorsy, Widening Participation Officer for The Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield. In my spare time I chase a rugby ball for Featherstone Rovers RFLC and bake a lot of cake!