I used to read a lot of French classics growing up (Maupassant, Stendhal, Flaubert, etc.) They talk about a certain way of life, extolling a certain subset of humanistic values. While I appreciate their cultural significance – not all of those works line up with the ethics that I personally aspire to.
Modern Hollywood productions with a romantic storyline largely follow the same suit. The problem is that they usually tell you only the first part of the story. Nearly all of their stories end with budding romance. There isn’t a high demand for movies which would teach you how to sustain the fire of love for decades, through the highs and lows of life. Movies like “Bicentennial Man” are more of an exception rather than the rule. Script writers are reluctant to tell you what happens later down the road, when you live from one conquest to the next one, from cradle to the grave. And this is what this poem is about.