What is the poem in Happiness for Beginners?

By Louie Fecou
Published: July 30, 2023
What is the poem in Happiness for Beginners

What is the poem in Happiness for Beginners? We discuss the 2023 Netflix movie, which will contain some significant spoilers.

Movie fans have been enjoying the romantic comedy Happiness for Beginners, which follows the story of newly divorced Helen, who takes part in a hike on the Appalachian Trail in an attempt to find herself and be able to move on with her life.

Along the way, she meets an assorted cast of characters and encounters Jake, the best friend of her annoying younger brother.

However, in classic fashion, their relationship starts to grow, and it looks like romance might be in the air as they slowly discover deeper aspects of each other’s lives.

Towards the end of the movie, Jake gives Helen a poem that has become a bit of a focal point for viewers.

If you have watched the film, you might have been moved by the scene, and this accompanying article is here to answer the question: what is the poem in Happiness for Beginners?

What is the poem in Happiness for Beginners?

The poem used in the film is a real poem that was written by Pablo Neruda. The poem is titled “XV11” but is also known as “I Don’t Love You,” as this is the first line of the poem.

The poignant and heartfelt poem is presented for you here.

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

What does the poem mean?

The poem means what you want it to mean, and the words will obviously have a different interpretation from person to person.

However, an article from the site Poem Analysis offers up a basic premise for the work, suggesting that the fourteen-line sonnet is simply a declaration of love for the writer’s wife.

Who is Pablo Neruda?

Pablo was a politician, diplomat, and poet from Chile who would win the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature in 1971. Pablo was involved in many diplomatic issues and also became a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party.

When Communism was made illegal in Chile, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Friends would help him escape to Argentina, where he remained for years. In 1973, he was diagnosed with cancer but would suspect a doctor was trying to kill him, so he fled the hospital only to die at home later.

There has been much debate over the cause of his death.

Pablo is fondly remembered as being a poet of great note, receiving plaudits from many contemporaries and consistently finding new audiences for his poetry.

This film will no doubt lead a few people into looking at his body of work.

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