18) Poetry: Fire and Ice

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post because a) the poem is very short and easy to learn, and b) I just have the most perfect image for it.

Following on a theme, I learnt this poem from my Dad, and the photo’s also taken by him. The poem’s another Robert Frost – on the end of the world.

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.

I love this poem for its simplicity, and for the vivid imagery it provokes. I could see the world ending for desire – human greed as a force of consummate destruction – and could see it dying for hatred, in the form of war. Fire & ice; regardless of your convictions, it’s certainly an evocative picture.

The photo was very appropriately taken by my Dad. It’s the view from his house in Aboyne, a town in Aberdeen – taken at a particularly ruby sunset. There are many reasons why it’s outstandingly perfect for this poem (connection to my Dad, connection to Scotland), but it’s the juxtaposition of the fiery red and the wintry barren tree that really gets me. For a poem on the end of world, claimed by fire and ice – it’s perfect.

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