Forms of Love 2: Uncivil Love

My interest in the Ancient Greek names for love was piqued by the contrast between the single word for this emotion in English and the several names for it in Greek. There are clearly many forms of love. So why is there only one word to denote multiple emotions? Or at least multiple flavours of a single emotion?

If we use the word ‘love’ to describe how we feel about our partners, children, parents, jobs, hobby etc., then logic insists those interests are competing for primacy. Either actively or passively. And what human behaviour is analogous to this type of tussle? A civil war.

In this sonnet, I depict love as the prime emotion – the strongest love a person can feel. All that person’s passions compete for the “crown”. And, as history demonstrates. There can only be one “king” in possession of a nation’s regalia.

Uncivil Love

Love is a civil war on many fronts
Ten thousand chieftains fighting for the crown
A lifelong war of sieges, frays and hunts
Ascendance gained by bringing others down.
Only one hand can wear the precious ring
Only one fist can grip the sceptre gold
One torc, one cloak, one crook made for the king
One seal to stamp dominion manifold.
Best friend, great job, cool sport, contenders are,
So too are children, parents, addiction.
They clamour with your partner for the star:
Bright guiding light of love’s jurisdiction.
	To all those hurt when they’re not most adored;
	The state is chaos when there is no lord.

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