Haikus, Japanese poems that follow a five syllable/seven syllable/five syllable line structure, traditionally highlight pieces of the natural world. That makes the periodic table of elements a perfect fit for this tricky form of verse.
Writing in Science, fantasy/sci-fi author Mary Soon Lee composed 119 haikus, one for each chemical element plus one for the yet-to-be-synthesized element 119. Just scroll over each element in the interactive periodic table to see a new verse.
Some poems are straight-forward summaries of their everyday applications. The haiku for lithium, for example, reads:
Lighter than water, empower my phone, my car. Banish depression.
Others, like this poem for aluminum, are a little more tongue-in-cheek:
Spent Kindergarten endless writing your name. One i or two i's?
Whether you're looking for an out-of-the-box way to memorize the elements or are just in the mood for some creative poetry, Lee's haiku table makes for a fun read. Here are some samples of her work for your reading pleasure:
Barium Let those enduring your enemas remember fireworks' green splendor. Radium Licked by the women painting luminous watches. How much time stolen? Osmium Humiliated underneath the dunce's cap. Densest in the class. Carbon Show-stealing diva, throw yourself at anyone, decked out in diamonds.