Summary of Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Robert Frost for the poem analysis of Acquainted with the night and summary of Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost is a short but deeply influential poem. Many readers will be shocked that the famous book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George RR Martin was inspired by this poem. 

Take a look at the poem and then at the easy-to-understand summary of the poem.

Fire and Ice by 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.

Summary of the Poem

Fire and Ice is a poem that talks about the destructive nature of two of the most powerful (and similar) emotions; desire and hatred. Every one of us has felt these two emotions at some point in our lives. 

The poem starts in a very dark tone where the poet says which would be the better way to end the world. Some people say that fire would be better, while others prefer ice. 

Fire is used to represent desire and ice is used to represent hatred. This connection is very accurate as desire feels like a burning fire that needs to be quenched. 

Until and unless the desire has been fulfilled, people are in unrest, at pain. Too much desire can easily burn a person from the inside. 

Hatred works like ice as it can make the person cold. Not just cold to the other person, but to themselves as well. Hatred and desire have the same effect, just in different ways. 

The poet then says that he has ‘tasted’ desire; we all have tasted desire and known how powerful and maddening it can be. From that experience, Frost says that fire would be enough to bring destruction to the world. 

Interestingly, Frost adds that if the world had to perish twice, he would prefer the destruction of ice as well. Readers can note the hatred in the tone with which Frost thinks of the world perishing twice. 

He then says that he has seen enough hate and knows how powerful that emotion can be. It is also important to note how the poem ends. 

Frost, with all the hate in the lines, not only says that the world should perish twice but ends the lines by saying that the world getting destroyed twice would “suffice.”

When talking about such a dark and morose thing, the coldness in the tone is apparent with the term “suffice.” It is almost as if the destruction of the world would be “sufficient.” 

That was the quick and easy summary of the poem “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost. If you want to read the detailed analysis of the poem, then take a look at this article.