(A kind of) Villanelle for Dr. Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915)
Thank you for discovering this disease,
especially for lending it your name.
What a mitzvah!
So many people honor you.
Aren’t you pleased with your celebrity, Dr. Alzheimer?
There you were a German neuropathologist, a psychiatrist
already with a name.
And as a professor of psychology, with Franz Nissl,
you wrote a treatise on the pathologic anatomy of mental illness.
I salute you both, Dr. Alzheimer.
My husband Abe was brilliant too, a pathologist,
born on your birthday, June 14th. Now he has your disease.
I wonder if he’ll forget his name.
Alois Alzheimer, you’ve become part of our family
and will not leave. Listen, your welcome is worn out,
It’s time for you to move on
because we have to,
Please, won’t you please, take back your name.
*historical info from