Fire and Ice – The Poem
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
~ by Robert Frost
Passion or Apathy? – The Choice Story
Me and my brother, we fought for the silliest of the things. For him taking my toys, to me taking his chocolates from the fridge. For me keeping my stuff on his side of our study table, to him reciting aloud his chapters while I was also studying. We used to annoy each other a lot. And it mostly ended in huge fights, till either of us went to mom saying, “Maa look what s/he did to me”. And mother would end the fight after telling us stories of how she would fight with her siblings when they were kids. She used to tell us, that these petty fights are the memories we are building today. And when we would grow up we would laugh over these things.
One day while shopping for a friend’s birthday gift, my brother and his friend found a really beautiful dolphin-shaped pen. He wanted to buy as many as he could, so he could give one to each of his friends. The shop had only the last three pieces. He purchased them all. He got one gift-wrapped for a friend whose birthday was the next day. Gave one to the friend he was shopping with. And bought one home.
He wasn’t a fan of such artistic looking stationery. He preferred comfort and quality over art. And I loved such exclusive looking stationery. The next day, I thought about what would he do with the pen and maybe he had bought the same for me. So, since I was getting late for school, I took the same without asking. Both of us hated when either of us took the other’s stuff without asking.
When I returned from school, I was trying to write an assignment with that dolphin pen. My brother came to the room. He saw me with the pen, snatched it. And then he punched me on my face. My mother saw him hit me. He came and gave him a few good slaps. He said, “she took my pen without asking”. But my mom still scolded him. That was no way of dealing. Such hot-headedness was not acceptable for her. I got reprimanded too, later that afternoon.
That evening we became buddies again. He again for Thor and I was Loki. We went outside to play with friends and told about the incident to a friend. My brother laughingly said, “you should have seen her face, as she got the punch. The great warrior of the colony almost became blue”. “Yes, we should do this more often. So that you can get more slaps from Maa”, I smirked. “Yes, why not, it’s so much fun to have fights sometimes”, he said.
My friend, who was listening, said “no physical fights should ever happen in any house”. She told her that her parents fight every day. And she said every time both her parents are at home, she and her sister become so scared that something is going to break now. Some crockery, some furniture, some tv set, or even some bones. She said that they almost wish that their parents stop talking to each other. They wish that each of them becomes so cold to each other that the other person’s existence becomes invisible to them.
Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. Known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech, Frost frequently wrote about settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes.
Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime and is the only poet to receive four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. He became one of America’s rare “public literary figures, almost an artistic institution.” He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 for his poetic works. On July 22, 1961, Frost was named poet laureate of Vermont.
It is said that Robert frost purchased a farm in New Hampshire and did farming for a few years (farming during the day and writing at night). After it proved unsuccessful, he started working as a school teacher. A few years later he sailed with his family to Great Britain (where he found good publisher and demand for his literary work).
To read more about Robert Frost, click here.
Fire and Ice – Poem Analysis
Robert Frost begins by stating his beliefs that the world would end either because of the two, the fire or the ice.
Fire and ice both represent the two extreme components. Fire represents the heat and is also associated with passion. Ice, on the other hand, represents the extreme cold and on an emotional level the apathy.
Given the present-day condition, where people are to engrossed in their own life that they have no time for others, Frost would prefer fire. A mode, that also represents passion and emotions over ice. But too many fire elements lead to the bloating of the world with hatred. So, if the world was to perish twice, it would have become overpacked with hatred spread due to fire that ended the world the first time. And then he would prefer ice over the fire. He would prefer apathy over hatred.
Fire and Ice – Form, Structure, & Meter
- The poem is made up of one long stanza of nine lines.
- It follows the rhyming scheme of A-B-A-A-B-C-B-C-B.
- The first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh lines are made up of nine syllables.
- The second, eighth, and ninth lines are made up of four syllables each.
- The poem mostly follows the scheme of a stressed syllable followed by the unstressed one.
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