CBSE Class X – First Flight by Robert Frost –Fire and Ice -Explanation and Q and A

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Introduction of the poet .. Already given in the poem Dust and Snow’.

The poem .. Frost often indulged in philosophical interpretation of the world around him. On one occasion, he thinks of the possible end of the world. He knows some feel the world might end in ‘fire’, where as others predict that the world will end in ice. The gulf between the two prophesies is very large.
The poet proceeds to talk about his reading of the situation. He, in his life, has experienced powerful feelings of ‘desire’ that encompasses love and lust. He thinks these are very positive emotions that can never be extinguished. No matter when the world comes to n end, ‘desire’ will be aflame. Humans can never forgo these pleasures. So, he thinks, if at all the world ends, it will end in an inferno of passion, love, and desire.
He also fears the toxic emotions of hate, discord, and strife. These are all corrosive in nature, and they can consume the world. Hate, and rancor, by nature, are cold emotions that leaves people frigid and lifeless. So, if at all, the world has to end all over again, these destructive emotions will engulf it in their cold embrace. The world will meet its icy end.

Thinking about the poem …

  1. There are many ideas …. The world will surely end one day, as most celestial bodies do. Predicting how the end would come is a very intriguing question, because we still do not know enough as to how and when earth came into being, and how the Sun would, if eve, stop radiating heat. However, it is safe to assume that extreme cold might freeze everything on earth. Also, it might so happen that a giant meteorite or a Black Hole might swallow mother earth.
  2. For Frost, Fire implies lust, and Ice means hatred and indifference. 

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