Pro Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice

by 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.

Vocabulary
Desire- wanting. Really, really wanting.
Favor- agree with or support
Perish- to die
Suffice- enough. It is enough

Paraphrase

Some people think the world will end with greed,
Wanting other people’s
cars, other people’s status
Even killing for it.

Some say hate will kill us all.
It could.
Both have kept me up at night.
Awake.

Commentary

Emotions are powerful. Very powerful. In English we have an expression to be in a jealous rage. This captures both of Frost’s meanings. It may even be a chicken and egg thing, which comes first? The jealousy or the anger? They are both powerful feelings. They can take us over and lead us to say terrible things. Do terrible things.

This is not a hopeful poem, but an eloquent and succinit ode to ‘Pick your poison’.