I have become completely enthralled by Fire and Ice written by poet Robert Frost. Published in December of 1920, the themes of this poem are still relevant today. With just nine lines, Frost immaculately grasps the concept of the ending of the world and its two most possible causes: fire and ice — or more deliciously, desire and hate.
A Pretty, Brief Summary
As the speaker presents the two sides of the argument, he steadfastly stands on the ‘the-world-will-end-in-fire’ position, since, as he states, has had a brush with the wild side in his day. The man knows how intoxicating, passionate and consuming desire can be. HOWEVER, if the world, by chance, were given a second opportunity to end, he admits matter-of-factly, that ice or ‘the-hate-capable-of-humans’ would work just as well.
Wow, does this poem have the power to make a person stop and think of the happenings in its time versus the present. While the world is filled with love, it is also filled with madness. Where there is crazed passion, there is raging hostility. Sure, we are met with people and places which exude blinding arousal and exhilaration, a feeling which can be compared to electrifyingly positive or despairingly negative. Alas, with one extreme, the world must balance with another. The overwhelming hate felt today by the likes of shootings, bombings, attacks and injustices is the ‘ice’ Frost mentions; there is not a doubt in my mind. It is just as capable of world annihilation as fire. Ice may be winning Frost’s debate at the moment unfortunately.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you read Fire and Ice? Which side were you initially on as you read the poem? Has your views changed?