Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Jack Gersten


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.

Literal Interpretation

  • Fire is hot
  • Ice is cold
  • Fire and ice are opposites
  • Both fire and ice can kill people
  • Perish-die

Situation in the Poem

In this poem, the speaker is directly speaking to the audience. It is not a narrative prom because it does not tell a story. It describes the speaker's belief in how the world will end and what his/her preference is on how to die. The speaker seems to not care whether the world will end in fire and ice because either way you die.

Structure of the Poem

  • This poem has 9 lines
  • There is enjambment in lines 3, 6, 7, 8
  • There is some punctuation between lines to break up thoughts
  • The poem starts out by talking about fire and then moves to ice and then says either one would kill so it doesn't matter how you die
  • The title "Fire and Ice" refers to opposites

Language of the Poem

  • The question of whether the world will be destroyed by fire or ice and which way is better to perish by is commonly asked
  • There are strong words including perish and destruction
  • Perish-death
  • Destruction-slaughter, killing

Musical Devices in the Poem

  • Rhyme Scheme- ABAABCBCB
  • Irregular, formless rhyme scheme and poem
  • Iambic meter