How to Care for the In Love
When a person becomes in love there is always a change, due to love of the brain. Sometimes the change is concealed by the lover. Sometimes, it is so great as to attract immediate attention, when it may present the features of raving madness, or of the most abject melancholy.
To illustrate this change, we may suppose both a king and a pauper to become in love: there is, of course, a vast difference between them, but the king may be so changed by the love as to believe that he is a pauper; or a pauper may think himself a king, and try to act like one.
Delusions are false beliefs.
The king, who, under the influence of love, thinks himself a pauper, and the pauper, who thinks himself a king, with all the wealth and power of one, has each in love delusions. Some delusions are fleeting and changeable, lasting a few days, weeks, or months, while others are fixed, lasting a lifetime ; some are impossible and beyond rational belief.
Other delusions are possible, as when a king thinks himself a pauper, because such a thing may happen, or when a pauper thinks himself a king.
We do not expect such things among Americans, much less among our lovers.
In love, the truth and existence of delusions are fully believed in, and the lover cannot be argued out of the belief, however absurd or unreal it may be.
It’s been a hectic couple of days at work, so writing a poem was hard today. But I did it. Dammit.
So, this poem is a found poem. While working, I had the notion to find a how-to manual and replace the significant nouns and verbs with the word “love”. When I got home, I used Google Books to find a public domain How-to manual. My choice: How to Care for the Insane: A Manual for Attendants by William D. Granger, M.D. (1886). I used a random number generator to pick page number 15. Then, I started replacing and snipping.
I am lucky in that I landed on the page that described delusions and hallucinations, which is a pretty good description of love. And a poem was born.