Although the consensus seems to be that ice represents hate, has anyone else considered that it is symbolic of apathy? Furthermore, why does the fact that Frost says desire mean that that is what he intends fire to represent? Perhaps the poem is literally about the world ending, and fire suggests it will be in war and hate while ice means it will end due to apathy, because human beings cease to really care for each other.
Dorian..if u were familiar with frost's work you would know that all of his poems are never straight forward and usually relate to him in some way. with regards to this poem frost lost his wife at some time in his life and (if the dates are right) fire could represent the love/passion/desire he had for her while she was living and ice could be the loneliness he is feeling after her death. thus explaining why he has experienced both fire and ice.
Fire and Ice are two elements which can be considered as opposed. In this poem these 2 elements are symbolic (you can also see it as personification If you are open minded)
fire represents desire, lust
ice represent hate
These feelings are obviously opposed.
The right question was posed by Maddi S.
-Which will cause man downfall?
I agree with Andrea, and actually, Dorian, *you* are quite the idiot.
Poetry is never that literal.
Even Frost knows that.
The way he phrases it is obviously metaphorical/symbolic, whatever you wanna call it.
Desire and hate are equally destructive. which will cause man's downfall first? that's the question here.
Fire and Ice in the poem are symbolic, with Fire representing desire or lust, and Ice representing hate or apathy; with Fire and Ice being as opposite to each other as desire and lust are to hate and apathy.
Frost is communicating the point that that both extremes are very strong, have the potential to dominate our actions, and that both have the capacity to become destructive.
Frost is trying to say that although hate is usually seen as the very negative one, while lust and desire are often not seen as negative and are often confused with love, when Frost ends the poem by unifying the two opposites, he is not only telling us that they are very much connected, he is telling us that they are both negative things; in effect, he is preaching being moderate and rational, even when it is tempting to take extreme positions;
Why do you talk about the Bible on thinking about this poem?
Fire and ice are metaphors (yeah, of course you all know...: -)) and don't serve as a peg on which to hang one's religiousness and trust into the Bible and its substance.
Fire vs. ice.
Desire vs. hate.
Both can be very strong and both can give YOU the strength to hold on in difficult situations. Both are powerful, impossible (and irrelevant) do decide which one is more powerful.
And both are dangerous, both can become destructive. So we should be careful with both of them...
And it's a hidden criticism that there is too much hate in this world. Hate that maybe once will destroy the world....
I feel a profound sadness in this poem.
I agree with Eileen because I also personally know the Word of God to be true. The earth shall be destroyed, along with all the evil and suffering in it, and those who chose Christ will inhabit the new earth, the rest will have to spend their eternity in the lake of fire and suffering.
Rev 21: 6-8
'And He said to me, It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who thirsts I will give of the fountain of the Water of Life freely.
He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son.
But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'
1. I favor fire because it is written in the Holy Bible.
2 Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 12
Looking far and hastening the coming of the Day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on FIRE, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
2. Ice is frozen water.
God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time.
James Baldwin, Black-American author of 'The Fire Next Time.' *
* It is a documentary-the quotation is from an old Negro hymn. Some say it is also found in the Jewish Talmud or Mishna. I could not find the exact reference. I first heard of it from James Baldwin's work.
fire & ice is the analogy to the gluttonous extremes of man's dichotic soul. love & passion when desired in excess is similar to hate & apathy with regard to their destruction of the soul, or existance as compared to in the poem