Home Netflix

Who wrote the poem from ‘Happiness for Beginners?’

You may be wondering if that poem is original to the film or not.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS (2023) (L to R) Luke Grimes as Jake and Ellie Kemper as Helen
Image via Barbara Nitke/Netflix

If you’re looking for a nice feel-good romantic comedy, then Netflix‘s Happiness for Beginners just might be for you.

Based on the novel of the same name by Katherine Center and starring television megastars Luke Grimes (Yellowstone) and Ellie Kemper (The Office), the Netflix film follows its characters as they trek through the Appalachian Trail. Kemper’s character, Helen, is a recent divorcee, while Grimes portrays the attentive and soft-spoken love interest, Jake.

Midway into the film — without spoiling too much, seriously, give it a watch! — Grimes’ character gives Helen a note. She only gets around to reading it toward the end of the movie and discovers it’s a poem. While Jake may have put pen to paper, he can’t take sole credit for this touching literary work.

Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda actually wrote the poem. Titled “XVII,” the poem is a part of a longer work by Neruda: 100 Love Sonnets (per The Atlantic). “XVII” brings the topic of love to life by employing delicate prose dealing with nature and repeating the phrase “I love you.” Naturally, this was an ideal literary piece to include in a romantic comedy like Happiness for Beginners.

Happiness for Beginners follows the classic trope of self-discovery

Image via Netflix

It may be a familiar story, but sometimes we want nothing more than to curl up under a blanket (okay, maybe not in this heat, but you get the point) and watch good-natured characters escape whatever rut they’re in. And, of course, if they happen to find love on the way, all the better!

As familiar as the story may be, Happiness for Beginners still offers a serious change of pace for its star actors. Yellowstone fans are probably used to seeing Luke Grimes gunning down trespassers stepping foot on Dutton land, so seeing his character in the woods without a gang of bad guys closing in definitely took some getting used to.

But it was this change of pace that enticed Ellie Kemper to the project. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in June, the veteran performer admitted that Helen was “a grump” and “different from the optimistic, funny, bright-eyed women that I’ve played in the past.”

Any hardcore Office fan that decides to check out Happiness for Beginners will quickly notice that the similarities between Helen and Scranton’s favorite chaotic receptionist, Erin, are few and far in-between.

Genci Papraniku
About the author

Genci Papraniku

Genci Papraniku is a freelance writer for We Got This Covered. A Spider-Man fanatic and a graduate from the University of Memphis, he loves to write and loves to consume anything related to pop culture. If Genci isn't watching the latest superhero flick, he's probably studying house lineages from "A Song of Ice and Fire."