After reading this poem and being quite confused by it, I was determined to find out what it meant. Its simplicity is misleading because it can represent several opposites in the world today that correspond to fire and ice. To begin my understanding of the poem, I decided to answer some questions. First question was who is some? Some represents humans, which is not difficult to understand, but then some can also represent lovers. This poem is mainly about desire and hate. In the poem, fire represents desire and ice represents hate. The first theory of fire most likely came from the bible, which describes the world ending this way and the second theory of ice is the scientific theory of the world freezing over when the sun burns out. Knowing these theories was somewhat useful, but did not really aid in understanding Frost’s opinion on which would make for a better end.
So, I went to the next question, which asks what ?ire?and ?ce?symbolize and what the two meanings for ?he world?are. Line three of the poem led me to believe that there must be a connection between fire and desire. Desire makes sense because it can consume one’s thoughts, goals, senses, and self-control like fire. I also decided that perhaps, ice represents hate. This is sensible because the phrase ?old-hearted?is often associated with hate, which has the ability to freeze all other emotions. In addition, Frost, as most people would, takes preference with desire rather than hate. Therefore, through his life experiences, Frost must have determined that these two emotions, desire and hate, are just as destructive as their counterparts, fire and ice. Regarding Perrine? other question, I believe that ?he world?means not only the Earth, but also the human race. This shows how the poem functions on two levels, with desire and hate destroying the human race, and fire and ice destroying the actual (physical) earth.
At this point in my search for meaning in Frost? poem, I could understand only what it was talking about. However, I wished to understand what the message this poem is sending to the reader. The last lines of the poem, beginning with line five, which states ?ut if it had to perish twice,?are key to this message. I believe Frost is simply trying to tell us that desire and hate are equally destructive. This is a change from the beginning of the poem, which makes it seem like desire is not as painful or destructive as hate. However, Frost, from experience, knows this is true and wishes the reader to know the same.
This is a great poem because it is symbolic on several levels. It is wonderful because it can be very complex and very simple at the same time. In Fire and Ice, Frost sends a message, which, although it is not clear to the naked eye, is valuable and thought provoking to the careful and dedicated reader.