“Fire and Ice”
Robert Frost
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.
Robert Frost was born March 26, 1874. After the death of his father, his family moved to Massachusetts. It was here that Frost began to fall in love with writing and reading poetry. He enrolled in both Dartmouth and Harvard University, yet he never received a formal college degree. He moved to England with his wife in 1912, and while there, he was majorly influenced by English poets of that time. By the time he had returned to America, he had published two books, and would soon be the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. By the 1920’s, he had established a firm reputation and soon thereafter, he had become one of the most celebrated and adored poets in America. To many, even after his death in 1963, he still is.
Poetic Technique
Personification:the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.
In the poem ‘Fire and Ice’, both the world and the means of its destruction are personified. More easily described is the world, as it is said that it would ‘perish twice’. This obviously means that the Earth would end, but in the way it is described, it implies an almost humane-like death. One could say that fire and ice are relating to the human emotions of desire and hate, and that they would end the world through their use.
This is one of Frost’s best and most famous works, and for good reason. This poem draws into the reality of human emotion, desires, and futures. Fire represents the emotions usually attributed to heat and anger, such as passion (in unhealthy doses; you could almost argue obsession) or lust. Such traits have the ability to take over a human and destroy them, or blind them to their actions. As witnessed in almost every war or oppressive movement, a group of people (or person for that matter) will become obsessed with an idea (that may not even be true) and go to insurmountable lengths to see some grandiose result. Ice is a sign of hatred, oppression, and distaste. The actions of man are so often founded in prejudice and hate, and most of the times, it is blind. As humans, we have the ability to discriminate against anyone for anything, to such lengths as marriage restrictions or segregation. Fire and Ice are the strongest and most dangerous traits of humans. They call upon our greatest weaknesses. Our inability to truly love and care as a whole could easily be our downfall. In the poem ‘Fire and Ice’, Frost would prefer to see the world end in fire. In a way, it is desirable. A world in which a human so strongly desires to see something happen that they may even hold some sort of false logic. Anything is better than blind hatred. Once a person feeds the growth of hatred in their heart, there is really no return. A world full of hate rather than love and acceptance is one that none should care to even exist in. Hatred can also be a deeply personal feeling. Often times, those who find peace and enjoyment in hate allows for a distraction from themselves. It allows to cover up self-hatred. When amplified outwards, the effect is much stronger. The most important theme portrayed in “Fire and Ice’ is that humans really are greatly flawed, and our means of hatred and obsession could easily bring about our end.
Visual Explanation
This is a graph of penalties targeting LGBTQ people in Africa. Some punishment range from prison sentences to death. The ferocity of  homophobia in Africa, Russia, Islamic nations, and America is hindering to society’s growth. This explains the poem in the way that it is pure, blind hatred. The visual most represents the lines “some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.”  It is oppression to the maximum degree. We saw this during the Civil Rights Movement. We saw this during the Women’s Rights Movement. We’re seeing it again. Humans are showing again and again that hatred is inevitable. The poem tackles some of the ideas of hatred versus desire, and given today’s society with its reliance on religious based morals, hatred and oppression will not only repeat, but threaten the entirety of our species.

One thought on “Personification

  1. Use double quotation marks to identify the title of the poem. Single quotation marks are used in rare instances. The second use of single quotations marks is a mystery. Use double quotation marks. Remember that periods and commas are always placed inside quotation marks–no exceptions.
    Your interpretation is worthy of publication. It is most thorough and represents deeply analytical thinking.
    In the explanation of the visual, make reference to specific lines from the poem.
    This is a marvelous entry. I anticipate with great excitement reading your entire poetry project.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s