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Fire And Ice

Robert Frost

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Fire & Ice
Added by: Tony
Fire=Desire, and Ice=Hate. Human nature creates these emotions for us to think about. Robert Frost could also be talking about how the modern scientist believed the world would come to close to the sun and burn, while others thought the world would go to far away from the sun and freeze. THere is also a passage about this in the Bible. I think Frost is trying to make a mockery of these modern scientists.
Added by: Maria Rein
I think that such a short poem says so much. It is like a tug of war between love and hate. Fire being hate and love being ice. Fire can destroy ice. But when the ice melts it can put out the fire. I think that is why this is one of Frost's poems where he does not come to a definitive conclusion or ending.
Added by: Jessie
This is one of Frost's greatest poems, and in some ways the easiest to understand. The world will end, Frost says, by either passion (fire) or hate (ice). One interesting thing I thought of, Frost was alive during both World War I and II. He may be making a reference to war.

In any case, it makes no difference, and either way will suffice. Also, an interesing point I once read, this poem shows that while man has no control over nature, he does have a sort of creative choice as to how nature accomplishes what it will. The outward theme is, we will end FROM desire or hate. A sort of inward theme could be man's lack of control over nature.
Added by: anonymous
I believe that the point in this poem is that nature will last longer than humans. Nature never dies, and it always exists. This is demonstrated when Robert Frost writes that the world will either end in fire or ice. Either way, the world (humans) will die.

The fire equals death, evil. destruction, and hate. Man uses fire in war. Have we ever frozen people to death? Ice is the equalizer, love, and the peacemaker. After man is finished destroying our existance, ice will suffice and melt away our destruction.
Added by: Tenken
Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. In that statement, Robert Frost believes that the world will end in one of those fates and no other. Literally, fire could possibly end the world, for fire detroys. On the contrary, ice could end human existence as we know it; another ice age. That itself is already a thought that had puzzled many philosophers as well as scientists throughout the past.

Then again, Robert Frost adds another element to his theorum. Without doubt, he believes that humans, the most powerful species alive, will end this world. Why is that? It is because humans contain the two most destructive forces known today, Desire and Hate. Being so powerful as we are, what we desire, we get. We want, we kill for. And we hate, we destroy.

In his opinion, desire will play a higher role in this destruction. But if not desire, then ice... hate... will also do the job, and would suffice.

Added by: Becky
I think that this could also be a struggle between a sort of passion. Either he sees himself burning out in passion or being frozen numb forever in ice.Either way it ends but do we want to go out with a bang or gradually slip into a coma?
Added by: DDA
I'm pretty sure that Robert Frost wasn't talking about relationships with this poem, but while my marriage was falling apart, this poem sure did have a strange parallel to the whole situation. You had to be there to understand.
Added by: Xander
Well, when he says "fire" I take it as pretty obvious that he means the fires of passion, and of course "desire." But I also assume that the "ice" he mentions isn't really a form of "hatred," since hatred is associated with a great deal of passion. The icy destruction is more of a numb, dispassionate oblivion...a resolved end, as opposed to a furious one.

I don't think that Frost is drawing direct allusions to nature, more the perceptions humanity has of what fire and ice can represent in our emotions and experiences.
Added by: Jay Ni
I feel that this poem is actually about an outlook on life. The entire idea of fire and desire is simply that the world only really exists to us when we exist, and since we only live once, it would be the choice of many to achieve their dreams and die in a "blaze of glory". However, the entire living twice idea may be that if one had infinite opportunities, your life would be consumed much more slowly because you realize that both fire and ice will suffice the destruction of the world, and that no matter how hard you try to pursue your dreams, the world will all die the same.
Added by: Pierre Francis
Frost contemplates the inevitable demise of the planet - as a result of either war, or another ice age. The poet's ambivalence and brevity are what make this poem so powerfully memorable.

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