Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour 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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Robert Frost's poem Fire and Ice


  1. gabriel d. says:

    i love yor specific details nice work.

  2. gabriel d. says:

    i like the poem it describes how mentally it is nice work.

  3. Tiffany says:

    I have to write a critical analysis on this poem for my English 214 class. I believe that this could be talking about the destruction of the world, a relationship, the peace between countries, or ones own personal world in his/her own mind. Either way, it seems to be his way of expressing two different ways that things could end be it physically, or mentally.

  4. Elsisbeth says:

    Yes great poem.
    Does anyone what type of poem this is???

  5. mike says:

    hmmm, i think its a good poem talking about how he feel’s inside, ho he belives he’ll end

  6. Ryan says:

    I think fire and ice is a masterful poem describing that too much hate “fire” is bad for a person to have, but having too much pasion “ice” for a person could be bad. PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Fred Fletcher says:

    Some know what it means to have the world end for they have felt it,endured it, and each day miss that world they once knew, enjoyed, and loved. The passion of desire and its energy can take one to new shores that can burn and destroy, the passions of desire that rip apart our family and career. These passions that burn like a fire out of control that engulf that which we love and need and then destroy it, making the world we know and love end in a blaze of passion. This is the end, the passionate end, the fire. Then again there is another end. The icy state of fear, that grip that draws you into your gut and leaves your body cold and stiff. It makes it hard to move and turns the world gray and dank. It freezes and kills the delicate life of summer. Leaving a world that is as dead and as ended as one that passion could have taken away on another day. I hold with fire but know that hate can take and is as great.

  8. John says:

    Georie, everyone has the right to have an opinon! An intelligent person (and you undoubtedly consider yourself one) pays attention to everyone’s perspective. By insulting them, you only acomplish showing them your real self (which is ill informed, to use an euphemism).. The artist only gives us his toil, in order (for us) to interpret it in whichever way we want. If you feel like diverging, go ahead, but avoid calling anyone stupid, avoid isolating yourself in a superior sphere, you’re not nearly qualified.

  9. Georie says:

    Everyone that commented is stupid. Its not talking about the world ending it is about A relationship ending. He is talking about it ending in fire meaning Fast and ice meaning snow. All you people just dont know how to read poems

  10. Joe says:

    This poem is discussing, what Frost believes, to be the end of the world. There are two ways he believes that the world will end. By fire or ice, whether these two words are metephors or not is irrelivant. Either way the world will end. It could end by the sun, or by an ice age. The world could end by the sheer desire for something (fire) or by the ruthlessness of hate (ice). When we desire something some will do anything to suffice there deminish for whatever it is they want. This desire spreads through them like a wild fire. When you hate someone/something you have cold icy feelings for that object. You see so no matter if this is a class A metaphor or not, the world will end in one way or another by either God or some sort of element!

  11. Alison says:

    From reading this poem, I extrapolate that Robert may be:
    A) Possibly just playing ‘see what the losers can come up with’
    -Some scholars have stated that this may be a very straight-forward side of robert that we are not used to reading.
    B) Could be giving a soft opinion on literally how the world will end.
    -Many people infer that Robert is expressing that he believes the world will end in rage and hatred, (not lust, as many people may argue! From what I understand, lust is usually means sexual desire).
    C)Telling us how the world does infact end, and how, since he does know God, Allah, Budda, (you know the whole gang of almighty immortals)
    D) Using the end of the world to relate to something smaller
    _-My cool english teacher has told us this is called a Homeric Similie, assuming Robert likes to use some of Homer’s writing techniques.
    E) I DONT KNOW! I am only 14.
    F) Wilson High is pretty kool, and you know it…..Go Bruins (We rock and you know it)! 😛

  12. Willie says:

    This poem has two meanings (to my understanding). How the world will end and how relationships conflict with each other. The more obvious and clear cut meaning is how the world will end. Will it end in a supernova (fire) or will the sun eventually run out of fuel (ice). With his last two stanza’s “Is also great” and “would suffice”, I believe Frost thinks that death by fire would be a worse fate than ending the world with ice

  13. reader says:

    i really like this poem. i think it is about how everything has to end sometime, be it the world or a relationship or anything. but its better to have loved something while you had it rather than losing it before you even had a chance to get to know it. and if you did have the chance to get to know it first, then you would be able to make the choice about how it will end. maybe robert frost is talking about past relationships where he has loved someone or something so much that he has been able to make some sort of a decision about how it will end. perhaps he was in a close relationship with a nother person and s/he was going to die. so he would have the decision whether he wanted to say good bye to her and be with her until the last minute, or say goodbye in advance so she wouldn’t have to see him cry. that is a very ditailed example but i think it fits. i really liked this poem and i’m using it in an essay i am writing right now!

  14. El says:

    Ok u guys do no that the world isnt like ACTUALLY gonna end that way. Its gonna go when the sun blows up. or something. Anyway but I really do like this poem, except i don’t like the “would suffice” part at the end of it. but if the world were gonna end in fire or ice i’d say fire cuz i know more desire than hate. maybe cuz nobody could ever hate me ha ha! Adios amigas

  15. kiki says:

    This poem was wonderfull. It was his Best poem of all time. Very touching.

  16. Red06chik says:

    I truley believe this poets words hold great truth… what is the point in loving if it all will just perish because true happines in love does not exsist. It is better not to love at all (end in ice) then to be hurt twice (perish twice) and end in hatered (fire) because your broken soul will only lead to the original state one should have belived in, in the first place. youll become cold and bitter… might as well be cold and bitter in the first place then experience a dreadful feeling and then end cold hearted.

  17. ME says:

    I love this poem it is my favorite poem of all time. It’s the best poem ever.

  18. Thomas Conran says:

    it could be his response to the great war a.k.a. WWI. “The world will end in fire” fire could represent the war and struggles that were going on. and ice could be the forshadow that the time off war will end the war because Germany suffered from the loss of claims and took blame for WWI.

  19. carmen says:

    Robert Frost is twisting an age old question of how the world will end, with human relationships. “Some say the world will end in fire, / some say in ice.” As we read through the poem, though it is short, it answers more than just the obvious question posed; it tells us of the author’s feelings towards relationships.
    On the outside, Frost is examining what will bring the world’s demise, but underneath he is describing a relationship. “From what I’ve tasted of desire / I hold with those who favor fire.” Fire would certainly be able to destroy the world in his opinion; but at the same time he is saying he has come to know love, and it is covetable.
    But he goes on to say that ice would also be able to destroy the world, that coldness would be a sufficient end. “To say that for destruction ice / is also great / and would suffice.” So he never really answers the question of how the world will end, and that is appropriate when you think about it because no one really knows for sure. But as I said this poem isn’t just about answering some arcane uncertainty, it’s about his feelings toward relationships.
    This is a man who has seen love and knows the upside of it, the power of it (“I hold with those who favor fire”). But he has been hurt and he has seen both sides of passion, passionate love and passionate hate (“I think I know enough of hate”), and if he had to go through the pain of losing someone twice, he would choose not to love at all (“But if it had to perish twice / To say that for destruction ice / is also great / And would suffice”).
    Summarized in one simple line: Frost would rather not love at all, than to have loved and lost. There’s an underlying tone here, not how the world will end – but that it will end. Relationships will end – and to a larger extent life will end. And Frost is simply saying that we will all come to our end eventually; whether we meet that end after a passionate marriage that ended badly or a life of solitude devoid of much joy or sorry, we will end – and maybe the latter of the two is good enough.

  20. Lauren says:

    actually the poem is a parallel of the earth ending in fire and ice and desire and hatred destroying humans to the same effect.

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