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. Mahsa says:

    It is quite interesting that how he uses an Understatement to show how the world ending in fire or ice would be equally sufficient..this does affect the poet’s tone which is a bit mild and casual here.

  2. michelle easson says:

    It’s interesting to consider how Frost viewed nature ~ as metaphor and inspiration, from which he drew insight into humanity. Many of his poems seem to be about the transitory nature of Nature, how nothing remains the same and embracing/accepting the moment (before it passes) is both practical and vital–enlivening and necessary. Man must learn to live with himself, to enjoy his own company and make life livable, which requires an acceptance and understanding of one’s own nature. The refusal to be overwhelmed or outdone by circumstances and one’s own emotions is key to survival. He talks about the refusal to succumb to the challenges presented by one’s situation (refusal to “sink under being man and wife,” impasse of having to choose which fork in the road to take and the second-guessing or lament over what might have been). He refrains from giving advice or proselytizing and recognizes that finding/making one’s way is personal, individual, and an “inside job.”
    Whether by fire or ice, the ending/endings come, and the ‘preference’ is rather arbitrary in that sense. For Frost, desire is preferable to indifference and the relative ‘chill’ of intellectualism, but “either will suffice” in leading to the same end. It’s the way one wants to live, based on one’s own true nature, that makes the difference and creates the choice. Either end of the spectrum has its advantages and disadvantages, but according to what he knows of his own nature (and his own emotions), fire/desire is preferable. Hell may be made of either fire or ice (or both, as in Canto 32 of Dante’s Inferno, in which he/Dante describes traitors as being “submerged, while in a fiery hell, up to their necks in ice”). Ice can be experienced as cold and/or hot — the difference in perception having to do with the intensity and prolonged exposure. It’s a brilliant poem, so concise and yet vast in its implications. Of course, for us, the metaphor is all the more literal–whether humanity brings about its destruction by incineration of Global Warming, or a nuclear winter–the exhaustion of the Earth’s molten core. Relationships, human nature, or the actual “end of the world” — the poem speaks to all of these…

  3. Trey says:

    I think he is talking about how the wold will end and that he dosent care how because he lived a good life

  4. Nataile says:

    My sister Mandi is crazy, so exuse her. This poem is quite beatiful. I persoaly would prefer fire for it would be a faster death over ice which could take hours, while fire would be almost instant.

  5. Mandi says:

    this is my fav poem by Rob. Im eattin khiken pot pie. this poem wuz also in twilight #4. gtg goin snowbordin.

  6. Vanessa Calvillo says:

    This Is My Favorite Poem And Poet I

  7. brian says:

    i agree with this poem because if i was to die twice i would want the world to end in both ways fire and ice is teh best poem frost has written

  8. Ralph says:

    Fire and Ice by Robert Frost is a great poem, with alot of different meanings that other people see it as.
    My opinion is that hes talking about “Hate”(ice) and “Desire”(fire), with these two great forces (fire and ice) are used as the destruction to end the world. But i think what Robert Frost was explaining was that “Desire” was his first choice because we all know that if u had “Desire” it would be more mentally stronger than “Hate” which is in my opinion, true.

  9. Jo says:

    I’ve just got this poem given to me in my synoptic paper for my A level english exam, all your points have been really interesting!
    I’d like to think that the only reason that he talks about the end of the world is to justify how destructive and strong he imagines these two forces to be.
    I feel like he’s just giving himself an excuse to talk about what he really wants to explore which I thought could be his two comparisons to fire and ice – desire and hate. By comparing them to such elements he makes them appear almost godly and unbeatable. He does of course present them very negatively but by using the word ‘great’ it seems to me that he might have some sort of facsination with them.. Like he knows that they are awful, but he also deems desire and hate to be things that are natural (like fire and ice).

    Anyway, I’m rambling… It’s a pretty interesting poem though!! xx

  10. Miss.K.Sadler says:

    I have studied Robert Frost’s poetry and i know that he tends to focus on the use of nature which is why i think he is refering to ice as a killer of nature when he says that it will suffice.

  11. Jorge says:

    this poem is aight you know

  12. nico says:

    i think Robert Frost means that fire and ice can be equally destructive whether your talking about actual physical destruction or in people. Hate can be expressed as either a hot temper(fire) or cold silence burrowed deep inside(ice).
    P.S. Hillary Clinton’s a man.

  13. Elizabeth and Anderson says:

    We are thinking about writing a paper on this poem but I dont know. It is good. Right now as we speak Elizabeth and Anderson are in english class. Elizabeth has spanish next and Anderson has chemistry next. ELizabeth is scared to death because she might get her spanish exam back and she thinks she failed. Anderson got an 82 on her spanish exam. goodbye…….for now!!!!!

  14. elizabeth says:

    this is a good poem. I think Im going to write a paper about it, but i have not decided yet between this poem and some others of frost’s. Im in my english class right now. I have spanish next. goodbye

  15. Gary Alan Graham JR. says:

    I love this poem. it’s great. little freaky thinking of the end of the world though.

  16. eric e. says:

    This poem was awsome baby!

  17. Jeremy says:

    The poem discusses the end of the world, with Frost positing that it could end in either fire or ice. He relates the two elemental forces with the human emotions desire and hate, respectively, and suggests that while the chill might of hate certainly has the power to end the world, his experiences have led him to believe that it is in the fires of passion that the end times will be found.

  18. Dan says:

    To Georie from United States,

    First of all, just because you have an interpretation, it does not mean that everyone else’s is incorrect.
    Second, I believe it is known that Robert Frost was not involved in some sort of relationship problem at the time when he wrote the poem.
    Third, if you think that just because some interpretations sound strange that the author is deranged and should be placed in asylum, you are very, VERY stupid.

    That’s about it.

  19. Dan says:

    That’s not quite the type of destruction Frost means, David.
    Frost means the destruction of the internal, spiritual world. The metaphor fits quite well, since fire and ice may someday destroy the physical world.

  20. gabriel d. says:

    i love yor specific details nice work.

  21. gabriel d. says:

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

  22. 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.

  23. Elsisbeth says:

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

  24. mike says:

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

  25. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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!

  30. 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)! 😛

  31. 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

  32. 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!

  33. 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

  34. kiki says:

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

  35. 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.

  36. ME says:

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. Katelynn Harker says:

    Dear mr.Frost,
    You have really inspired me to speak my mind.Esspecaily
    my teacher Ms.Lauren Mummert.I was woundering if you can come to Alameda Elementay School on 2732 N.E Fremont & 27th ave.Portland Oregon.I’m In Mrs.Deans room if you get a chance.My whole class wrote acrostic poems and we just finished doing free verse ppoems.We would love to read them to you!!!!!!!!! THAANX A LOT!!!

  41. Fred says:

    I need help writing a essay on the theme of frost poems! well I think the theme is about nature or most of his poems. And im in highschool so nothin to smart.

  42. Tree says:

    Notme, it would be very appreciated if you don’t disrespect other people’s poetry. I don’t even know what it means, but it’s a great poem. I can’t stop reading it!

  43. bobonia says:

    na na na na na na na na na na. bla bla bla bla.
    it will end in ice!
    cause I like rice
    gross is lice
    cute as mice!
    number 6 on dice
    large pizza slice

  44. Ashlynn says:

    This poem im doing for a school project, and we didnt know that a really short poem could mean like a bazillion things! ITS FREAKING SWEET!!

  45. Kimber says:


  46. nadia says:

    hellow people who have no lifes reading this

  47. Tim says:

    ppl u have to read the words and understand the meaning. if u rather have the world end in fire then it would end in desire just like it said. but if you want the world to end in ice the its hatred that would end it.

  48. Gordon Cheng says:

    This matters not how horrendouse this poem is, it might be short but it is still a great poem.

  49. Tom Supertom says:

    I believe that this poem should be taken very seriously, since contains the clue to the location of the hidden gold within the secret Nazi moonbase. But beware the gold is guarded by hillfolk, armed with blunderbusses and whipped toppings. It is common knowledge that the Nazi-Communist-Anarcho-Syndicalist-Hooligan-Grand National Symphony Orchesta Party is behind such evils as Disney on Ice and the Shakesperean play Othello. Beware the Nazi soldiers, mounted upon steeds of musk oxen, travelling the remote plains of Chef Boyardee. If you are stopped simply act flaccid like Flynn and become like a spongey foam. Remember not to let cheese scout release their spores of kitty litter to smite thee. Thou shalt prevail with the finding of the sacred froot loop of destiny located in the bowels of a tuna factory

    – Tom Supertom Infotrac Business Edition 7.8, leader of the Nazi Communist Tribal Council and enemy of all caterwauls and jabberwockies

  50. Aarika says:

    I too am using this poem as the basis for an english project and everyones comments have been helpful. It’s amazing that one poem with only ten lines can have so many diffrent interpretations and get people to react so strongly. As for my personal opinion I think Frost is trying to convey how he thinks the destruction of a thing (the world, a soul, a relationship) would end in fire (rage, passion, hate what have you)and if that thing got a second chance how it would end in ice (indifference, non-caring, coldness) but that it would still end. Thanks again for eveyones help and opinions.

  51. Nick B says:

    Hey Moog
    Hi this poem is one of the greatest poems i have ever read, this poem has been kept in the bosnian archives in the yao ming dynasty. Until Joseph Stalin and his neo confederation of comunist rebels snatched it from the moors. A few words that decribe robert frost would be moot and iago. On my travels throught the adirondacks i encountered pac-man and shared his poem with chinny woo and the carney folk from montpeiler. One day three mexican bandit were walking down 302 and i asked them if they had any brussel sprouts and they replied in sheer obscinity undale undale then a herd of ravid musk oxen and swept them of thier feet to impending death. By the time i reached munich i found a basket full of bked ham .

    thank you

  52. Raymond P. Harris says:

    I believe this poem symbolizes the efforts of our fine fire and rescue academy. The fire, is in itself, fire, and the ice is representing water and/or fire exstinguishers. Robert states that he would rather be with thee who favours fire which is the Iraqi and Muslim nations who are trying to destroy the world. In a sense, we are the ice, our military services are the exstinguishers. They are like a clothy drape, draping over the terrorism. The reason our military is needed, our great loin cloth of justice, is because the generic turbans of the Muslim nations are not great enough to smite thy hindering flame.

    could you please stop leaving unnecassary commenting on the threads, you are spamming the boards, and i will see that you are convicted.

  53. Dyl B. says:

    All hail Tom super tom infotrac business edition 7.8, the leader of the Nazi Communist Tribal Council, and winner of the goblet cup of the Hitler Dynasty trophy plaque, once said by the wise Bosnian bushmen. Lidkey 1.0, on seek and destroy mission. His neo plasma data chip sautered to his head is combusticating and grilling its cheese to Beethovens “Fur Elise”. Monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey monkey, on the pogo stick. Remember to eat your Lynksys (R) Etherfast Cable/DSL routers, and always fight your’re earbrows off.

  54. Nick B. says:

    This is the number 1 most dislike, hated, despised, loathed, despicable, shameful, Appalling, horrendous,alarming, astounding, awful, bad, bummer, daunting, dire, disheartening, dismaying, downer, dreadful, fearful, formidable, frightening, frightful, ghastly, grim, grody, gross, harrowing, heavy, hideous, horrible, horrid, horrific, intimidating, mean, petrifying, scaring, shocking, terrible, terrifying, unnerving.
    Thank you

  55. AzNx says:

    God, morons you are truely so clueless? This poem symblolizes so much. Fire, represents the hatred in the world, as Ice represents the “I don’t care” of the world. Fire is the power hungry mongrels of this world who want power and are greedy, Ice represents the people who wont do anything, and wont stand up for anything. He isn’t just blabbering about some random things, this has true meaning in it. As people try to predict how this world will end, will it end by the Sun fading out and turn this world into a second ice age? Or will our own people, the power hungry mongrels bring the earth to it’s downfall? People these days, if this keeps up we will be our own deaths. The economic problems, natural resources, they will deplenish and we will eventually die. As for the Ice, those people wont do anything and wont do anything to solve the problems. So which will be our downfall? Fire or Ice?

  56. Dre says:

    I thought this was a really lame poem. its short and i didnt get it even though i thought about it for like an hour. there are many better poems then this. I think R. Frost had nothing to do when he wrote this poem.

  57. chris mccomb says:

    when you consider “the end of the world” as mentioned in this poem as the end of the soul, ti brings a lot more into perspective. The ‘inner death’ will be brought about by one of two things: desire (fire) or hate (ice). the ‘inner death’ isn’t permanent, however, because it only leads to a rebirth of the soul, in a newer, purer form. Thus desire and hate aren’t bad, but simply a means of growth.

  58. susan says:

    Wilford, your ideas look very similar to the website:

    seen that before???

  59. aaron says:

    Poems are usually vague so that people can interpert them the way they wish, like a painting. One can not read the mind of Robert Frost so one is left to the interpertation. Reading these comments, people say its about love or the destruction of the world, if thats what you believe then thats what you believe. Robert Frost is an exquisite writer, whose poetry touched alot of people. He could be writing about his wife or he may just as well be writing about the apocalypse. No one truely knows. So if you can, basically, back up what you think than your positively correct.

  60. mass says:

    this poem was pretty good i give it a 3 out of 5

  61. katie says:

    This poem is a reflection of his wanted revenge and hate from his childhood. He was humiliated and he stated how he would some day show them. This poem is about the way things will end between his humiliators and him.

  62. slip says:

    this poem is a nice poem

  63. Yanilly says:

    I Honestly don’t know what Robert Frost was trying to convey in his poem “Fire and Ice”. I think perhaps he was really talking about the end of the world. I know for a fact that he wrote this poem during a war. World War one stands out but I am not sure. Nevertheless, maybe he was trying to express the opinions of the people during the war, concerning how the world would end. To me fire symbolizes desire to be the best or greater power. The battle of the fittest in other words. Finally, ice symbolizes hatred against the countries. For example the United States disliking the spread of communism.

  64. Kate says:

    I first read this poem in my late twenties, and only because my fifteen year old sister had to read it and analyze it for her school project. When I first read it, obviously, I thought of the end of the world, but after really paying some more attention and re-reading it over and over again, it became more apparent to me that this poem is about an ill-fated romance that by Frost’s account could either end very tragically with the desire to hate one another and cause each other much pain (fire) or simply give each other the “I don’t care attitude” (ice) and go on with their lives while inside dying to perhaps embrace one another.

  65. Lorena Marie says:

    This is my favorite poem by Frost. It is short yet powerful in words and meaning. ‘Tis all…


  66. Freya says:

    THis is my favourite poem of all.

  67. maxwell sheffield says:

    i think the poem means the nanny is a good show

  68. Bob says:

    love…falalalalalalalalalalalala ta tee ta tee ta… that is love

    Sorry I know that was random and had nothing to do with this umm… *cough cough* intersting poem!

  69. boo says:

    the fire represernts my burning love for frost and the ice is my moinkey bitibg my ear……..oooooooooh abu

  70. Johnboy says:

    Well i think ur all tossers because you miss the godamn point. You people cant read. The guys is about an alien invasion, hes warning us RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!

  71. Your MOTHER says:

    I prefer ice than fire,
    for fire is the warmth,
    and the ice likes the cold.

    But fire causes chaos,
    burning people’s homes,
    eating away at our work.

    Fire melts the ice,
    but the ice douses the fire,
    no-one should say:
    another is the better.

    I like apples.
    PS. George Bush is a monkey in disguise!

  72. james says:

    SOME say tha world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice . They call me tha black folks president.
    From wizzy I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold wit those who favor fire fo’ real.
    But if it had ta perish twice, 5
    I think I kizzle enough of hate
    To know that fo` destruction ice
    Is also bootylicious
    And would suffice hittin that booty

  73. John says:

    This poem reminds me of my wedding lots of fried rice and frozen beer !! Buzzzz

  74. Keith says:

    Everyone is relating this to ultimate gloom and doom with the end of the world. If you look at other Frost poems he commonly wrote poems about his wife (ex. the silken tent). The poem is a comment on his marriage. Fire is like the hatred or someone “spitting fire”. But ice is the cold shoulder she puts on him that is just as painful. The destruction of the world is not to be taken literally. Frost is too good to just throw something that simple out as the world will either catch on fire or go through an ice age.

  75. Kelson Dearth says:

    I like this poem, the first time i read it was in 4th grade the poem stuck out to me because i wasn’t the happiest person. I feel the poem is discribing as prity much every one else said fire is desire and ice is hate I personaly feel that the world will end in ice. I guess i just realy like this poem.

  76. Jim Boone says:


    Some say the world is surely flat,
    Some call it round.
    From standing here on my bath mat
    I hold with those who favor flat.
    But from an Aussie’s vantage ground,
    I think I would equivocate
    And say that when Down Under round
    Is also great
    When upside down.

    –Jim Boone

    FN: With apologies to Robert Lee Frost

  77. Wilford says:

    Hi, I have seen all your comments in order for me to do some research for my literature. I am very impressed by all your work…you guys have really given very insightful comments.Anyway, this is what I think.
    In his poem “Fire and Ice” Robert frost compares and contrasts the two destructive forces: fire and ice. In the first two lines of the poem he presents two options for the end of the world: an end by fire or by ice. He takes the position of fire in the next two lines and relates fire to desire. This comparison suggests that Frost views desire as something that consumes and destroys. Desire does indeed have a way of consuming those it infects. However, in the next stanza Frost makes the case for the destructive force of ice. He compares ice to hate. This comparison relates to the reader a view of hate as something that causes people to be rigid, unmoving and cold. Also, ice has a tendency to encompass things and cause them to crack and break. The last line of Frost’s poem asserts that the two destructive forces are equally great. Fire, or passion, consumes and destroys quickly, leaving ashes in its wake. Ice, or hatred, destroys more slowly. It causes object to become so immovable that they crack from the pressure created, leaving split fragments that once were whole. From the views frost states in this poem it would be fair to extrapolate that he believes the world will end in violent war for coveted things. However, Frost also could conceive of an end of the world caused by people becoming too rigid, unmoving and set in their ways and ideas that the world breaks apart into factions. Perhaps the destructive force of ice described in the poem was at work in the “cold” war. The Soviet block was set in its belief in communism, and the NATO countries were firmly convinced of the virtues of capitalism and individuality. Cracks formed, creating fragments of a former whole, Europe. Fire was at work in early wars in which nations desired more money and territory. It may be fitting then that Frost said the second destruction would be brought about by ice. Fire destroyed Europe in the World Wars, but was rebuilt and then destroyed by ice. Care must be taken, evidently, to keep the world at room temperature.

  78. rachid says:

    well the world will end but how,with fire or ice ,noone knows exept allah.and noone should have the right to predict how….

  79. Leslie says:

    i really like this poem it made a really good statement to me and i think the frost is a really good write

  80. Sam says:

    Ummm… this poem isn’t about the literal destruction of the world. I don’t feel like explaining it all but if you read Dante’s Divine Comedy it might actually make some more sense. Trust me on this; they go together.

  81. Brendan Webber says:

    The opposite of love is note hate, it is apathy.

  82. Anushka says:

    For the unanalytical, this story is simply about predicting if the world will end in fire or ice but if you look further you can see it is a contrast of the fire and ice in humanity. The world could either end in a passionate fury of fire which signifies desire or cold disconsolate ice which lacks the passion of love. Frost makes his choice of passion but then says if he had another choice he would have chosen ice. For all it’s lack of passion, it does not also have to deal with the hate and sorrow after the passion is over and one is left in bitterness. Frost would rather not have loved than to have loved and lost.

  83. Conor says:

    I Conor, dubiously review this silly poem and declare Frost was writting about nothing save fire and ice. Perhaps he was sitting at a campfire drunk.

  84. John says:

    Very good poem.. Very good comparison using Fire and Ice

  85. mike says:

    I believe that this story is a comparison of to emotions. Hatred and lust are to powerful emotions that I believe he was feeling at the time he wrote this very poem. The hatred in his heart was being fought by the lust in his heart. Mixed emotions got to him, and he express his feelings the only way he could by poem. If you watch cartoons, think about how cartoon charecters eyes flame up when they really hate someone. Like Daffy hating Bugs, or Elmer hating Bugs; it’s signifying the hatred for one another. You notice that you get an icy feeling deep down inside. Like there is no one around who even gives a damn about you. Thats a thought that sends a chill down my spine. Comparing fire and ice is an imagery statment that hides the true meaning of this poem. Which is when you put hate vs. lust you get a STALMATE.

  86. okeyonna says:


  87. Carlos says:

    I believe that Frost is criticizing the modern world. He wrote this poem after WWI, didnt he? Fire could represent the weapons and wars, while ice could signify hatred. “From what I’ve tasted of desire”. Is this quote referring to WWI, and the ice, what is it? The lust between nations? Please give me some feedback

  88. Jerry says:

    You are all wrong im a college graduate of harvard and just recently figured out this poem. Its a metaphorical meaning on nothingness…. He means the world could end in fire or ice. There is no reason to spend time thinking of the poem when the answer is so simple

  89. sakina says:

    hello every one i am a student of critical reading and my opinion about this poem is that Robert frost is only talking about the end of the world but he compairs fire to bad ness and ice to care free attitude. 1ooos of people have tried to bring peace to the world but have failed and died doing sooo but mean ness and hatered never ended but keeps increasing….
    robert frost in my opinion feels the same that it will end in fire which today means wars and massditruction… he must have writen this long back but was thinking a lot ahead

  90. joan says:

    Hate is often equated with ice, as in ‘ice-cold hatred’, or ‘giving someone an icy stare’. Lust similarly is often equated with fire, to ‘burn with lust’ etc. It seems to me that Frost was writing at a time when the two major schools of thought in the West were Materialstic or Religious. The reference to the destruction of the world by ice is the scientific belief that the universe will essentially run out of energy as it tends to entropy. The religious (specifically christian) belief that the universe would be destroyed by fire in the second coming of the Christ. Frost, on the other hand, recognises enough of the evil in human kind to believe that neither of these things is necessary to destroy the world. The lust and greed in human nature could destroy it long before either of these two events could happen. On the other hand, the sheer malice and hatred in human nature could also destroy the world. Frost suggests that he thinks that lust and greed are more likely to end the world, but that hatred could also be the culprit.

    Don’t be so quick to ridicule someone else’s exposition

  91. rob says:

    Could this possibly be inspired by WWI? Think about it, all the thoughts of destruction and hate that go with war must have influenced him in some way to write this. Robert Frost is my favorite Poet by the way.

  92. Lindsey says:

    I could call you a heinous b!tch, but I’m not that harsh. You probably have a perfectly good reason for unleashing the fire of you pseudointellect, who am I to say amything? If Frost was indeed commenting on the power of lust vs. the power of hate, which is which? Since when is iciness equated with either of the two? It appears your analysis crumbles under the slightest amount of pressure. Try harder next time, and don’t be so quick to attack. As the kids nowadays say-

    Slow your roll.

  93. Bridget says:

    everyone who has added a comment who thinks that this poem is about the end of the world you are wrong. well that’s what i think. i did an analysis of this poem for my year eleven literature class and what it’s talking about is desire and hate. basically frost is telling us his opinion which is desire is stronger than hate, even if hate can be very strong, maybe destructive is a better word than strong. so to the ignorant it may look like just a poem about the end of the world but if you look closer it’s about the desire and hate, frost just uses the end of the world as a metaphore for those things.

  94. Michele says:

    I have no idea what this poem is talking about! Did something happen in 1923 to make him write this poem?

  95. Bonnie says:

    I don’t have anything against looking deeply into something, a person can look deeply at anything. But for me, sometimes I just like to marinate in simplicity for a bit, then take it slow as I look deep… Rushing into depth can just make people look like fools.. Who knows, maybe thats a rare goal of a poet, just simplicity…

  96. Jessica says:

    I think Robert from Canada is right about this poem….i also think he ment to say “buddha” in stead of “bohta”…..but i would just like to say marry me robert…i love U!

  97. Glen Wollney says:

    This poem is talking about the destruction of our world. The author wrote this poem in opinion, not in fact. The author wrote this to express how he felt about the world ending. Anyways the world is not going to end anytime soon.

  98. Lynn says:

    My interpretation of the poem is that death is inevitable. People can argue back and forth on how we will perish but, in the end, we all will sometime and it makes no difference whether it is by ‘fire’ or ‘ice’.

  99. Avril says:

    i dont know what others think but from my understanding the poem is saying that some think the would will in in “fire”(aka our desires) and some say “ice” (aka hate) but the writer says he “holds with those who favor fire” saying our own desires will lead us to our end, people in this world who want too much power and will ultilmently destroy themselves and us along with them. i dont realy get the “if it had to perish twice” part but he says he knows enough of HATE and our hate for each other will destroy us just as well as desire and it would “suffice”.

  100. micheala says:

    the bible says in the end the world will be destroyed by fire then God will make the heavens fall and the chosen will live even though im only 13 that does not mean i am not as smart as you and that im engnerant becouse i am as skilled as you and i hope that you will understand may God bless you and your family

  101. Bryonna says:

    I think that the poem is extremly magnificent. The way he captivates people’s opinions. He is just the messenger listening and jotting down notes. Its just extravagant! Robert Frost really outdone himself in this poem so good im gonna write one right now.
    Notice how i’m using the same format he used. Here it goes:
    Heart To Heart
    Heart to heart is how I feel
    When ever you are near me
    Heart to heart is how we are
    I never will fear thee
    Our love is strong
    As long as you remember
    and will last so long
    Don’t be a pretender
    Heart to heart,
    mind to mind,
    Part to part
    We are entwined

  102. Robert says:

    I think this is a peacful poem about nature. As bohta once said nature is with one

  103. dillon says:

    This poem is so meaningful, yet it also gets you thinking on what he is talking about and how it is possible. I used this poem, along with many other’s with the same “nature” theme for an english research paper.
    some people over look its meaning, and they dont look closely, they never read between the lines.

  104. dillon says:

    I think that he might be saying in a way, that death is inevitable and the cause of or the way that one dies matters little, for in the end, death is still death.

  105. Brian says:

    I believe that Amir is correct. Thanx Amir it helped me b/c i am tryin to write a critical lens DBQ analysis on it.

  106. Loretta says:

    Fire and Ice: well this is a very good poem. Frost ponits out that we all have a choice on ways we want the world to end

  107. Connie says:

    This is an interesting peom. I think the world will end in ice though.

  108. Amanda says:

    When I read this poem I had to stop and think for a second and figure out what he was trying to get across to the reader. Then I figured it out. It is a great poem and also my favortive poem by him. To figure out what it means you’ll have to read it and figure it out by yourself. It is the best poem I have ever heard and Robert Frost inspired me to go into poetry and it will probably inspire yu too.

  109. MadMax says:

    When I read the poem, I found it kind of interesting that Mr. Frost spoke about the end of the world so nonshalantly, that to me means that he himself has excepted the fact that death comes to all and no one can stop the inevitable.

  110. kelly says:

    Fire and ice, like most of robert frosts other poems, reflects his own life, as well as a universal meaning. the tone of the poem is very matter-of-fact, yet contrasts greatly with the real meaning of the poem- which is the end of the world!this tends to be shocking to the reader!Only such a skilled and poetical man such a Robert Frost could crate a poem so short and to the point, yet with obvious ‘undertones’. perhaps the poem is Frost pointing out that it is desire/ hatred in the world which he believes will end the world in it’d doomsday, however if we analyse it close enough we see that Frost also points out that love is just as powerful enough! Can you spot it?
    Irony is plainly obvious in the poem, however to the the reader with less analysation skills, that here Frost is unable here to make a decision between fire and ice. he emphasises with the choice of his words, so unbelievably mundane. the tone is so plain, yet it is the most over-powering feature in this poem.
    I could go into more detail, about this poem or any other of Robert Frost’s poems, i have analysed the biggest majority of them, and been trained in analysitation, though not by my own choice! (being a virgo explains it! we tend to generally over analyse everyone and everything!) therefore feel free to ask, and i’ll be willing to help any Robert Frost fans in need of a poem fully analyzed!

  111. laura labonte says:

    This is a very complex poem that if you read it enough times you might understand it. All of your opinions and comments really helped me understand it so I used it in a very big school poetry projet. Thanks a bunch!

  112. Alai says:

    i real like it it nice i read can i. im am going to read more poem buy he. so i wow………

  113. Will says:

    It realli dont matter wiether the earth will end in results of a fire or ice. I think think that either way it goes its still bad and we all die. My advice is to just live life to the fullest and dont let nothing stop u from acheivein your goals.

  114. Lou says:

    I honestly have to say, I read this poem in 7th grade and I have been hooked on Robert Frost ever since. This poem is so meaningful, yet it also gets you thinking on what he is talking about and how it is possible. I used this poem, along with many other’s with the same “nature” theme for an english research paper.

  115. unger says:

    niether fire or ice will destroy this world…. our own kind would most likely destroy this world. we are ignorant enough to do so…. we still dont understand/answer the common questions man has askedsince the beginning of time.

  116. susan says:

    i like this poem. But it conveys a lot. It sounds very sad, doesn’t it? Ending the world seems to be the final result. I hope share more ideas with your guys.

  117. hillary kirk says:

    absolutly one of the most purest forms of art to have ever touched my heart in such soft beauty spoken words.

  118. Alli Bohv says:

    I like this poem. It happen to be my favorite one of Mr. Frost. It really make you think of bad time in future. I hope it never happen.

  119. darlene smith says:

    this poem was a wonderful poem it really makes you think on how many beliefs there is about how the world will end

  120. michelle says:

    good’day how yall im good hope you like the poem cause i really loved it it was ausome it really made me think about what he meant here if he really meant fire and ice or if he was trying to make you think e-mail me about ur answer!! bye luv yas

  121. Destiney says:

    I too had an English assignment on this poem and Jonathan’s point was also helpful(thanx).Also, I think its interesting that he tastes desire whereas he knows hate.

  122. Leah says:

    I htought that the poem was so awesome. It really makes you think about how you would rather have the world end.

  123. lori says:

    Fire and ice is my idea of the best poem he has ever wrote. The meaning is very deep and shows many of the ideas and thoughts of the way the world may is very short but it has a great meaning.

  124. Kate says:

    Reflection by Kate
    I really admire the poem Fire and Ice. I don’t know if it is the thought of the world ending, let alone in fire or ice, or me thinking that the world will ever end
    I wonder why the world is so full of hate. Why not love, care, and friendship? The only way I can imagine the world ending would be from us fighting, and hating. I wish that the world could keep on living forever, and never perish.

  125. Dan says:

    Just want to thank alex, Poindexter and Jonothan. Another great poem on this site if anybody wants to read one is called the rave. It’s by Edgar Allen Poe. and don’t believe anybody who says it’s very gothic. It’s not.

  126. alex says:

    this poem really does make you think… alot! i’m going to use it for a english project… i think the class will be thinking as hard as i was. personaly i thing the wrold will end in fire or said in the poem disire the reason for my thinking this is because the world has so many people who are so sick that they all are so power hungry that they will end up killing the world and hten themselves! and when they do i want to be long gone!

  127. cstar says:

    I love this poem its my favourite one. When reading this it makes you think how our world will end and its also makes you ask the questions of life.

  128. Poindexter says:

    It’s interesting. My dog pointed out to me that fire can melt ice, melted ice becomes water, and water can put fire out. How ironic that one can kill the other.

  129. isabel says:

    i m gonna use this for my english assignment too…we hav to make a poetry notebook…using this one for precise diction as in “fire” and “ice”…thanks for ur comments jonathon

  130. Noah says:

    I also used this poem for my english class, and thank you Jonathon, your comments were helpful. Why is it that the author agrees with those who favor fire, rather then ice? I thought it was interesting that one of the messages in the poem was, to taste of desire is to know of hate.

  131. Andrew Kahan says:

    I thought his poem made you sit down and think about what frost is saying. I wonder if he has a chode

  132. Natasha says:

    This is a very interesting poem, I used it for a poetry assignment in my English class as well. I personally don’t know how the earth will end, but I can tell you one thing, I don’t want to be here to find, and if I am lucky enough, I wont be.

  133. Josh says:

    I don’t think the world can end by fire alone, or ice alone. It will take both desire and hate. As for killing off all the smart ones, who said they weren’t part of the problem.

  134. Kassandra says:

    Oooh! Spooky! I like how the world is supposed to end in two opposite ways. If I didn’t take the Bible’s view, I’d say that the world would end because all the stupid and sick people got together and killed off all the smarter people such as doctors and great poets.

  135. Amir says:

    The author tries to alegorically personify the danger and destruction that could be caused by desire and hate by symbolizing these two negative human qualities as fire and ice.

  136. Amy says:

    Wow! this poem had me thinking quite a bit! i used it for my english assignment, and all of your comments were, indeed, very helpful!

  137. jonathan says:

    “Fire and Ice” is a short poem but contains a lot of deep meanings. in the poem, Frost uses fire as the desire for power and ice as hatred. he is saying that both feelings is enough to end the world. however if we look at it from a different point of view, we can also interpret this poem with science and the bible. for the bible say that the world will end in fire while science tells us that the world will end in ice.

  138. Jordan says:

    Most likely, the world will be killed off by people who don’t wonder how the world will be killed off. So I’ll go with ice.

  139. David says:

    It makes you wonder how our world will end doesn’t it? will the world be killed off by fire or by ice? hum

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