Fire and iceCould someone please help me summarize the poem "Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost  

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

That is a dilemma!  Perhaps you can introduce the summary with a little background on Frost's circumstances for writing this poem and then do your synopsis.

Your response should take the best part of a page.  Always read poetry out loud; notice images and rhymes or rhythms that appeal to you.  Phrasing and word choice also elicit responses as does metaphors and other literary devices.  In a response, for example, you can write about how you like the image of ice paired with that of fire because.....The use of the word suffice certainly is an understatement.  What is your reaction to this?

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It has to do with the speaker's view of the end of the world.  Some say it will end in fire and some say ice.  What images/emotions do you associate with each?  Fire might equal passion while ice might equal the opposite.  Consider contrasting death by burning and death by freezing.  This is a very short poem that relies on two very strong images to draw meaning from.  Consider every experience you have (using literature is a great idea here) and make a list of what you associate with each image.

kostaglatov's profile pic

kostaglatov | College Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

lulu81,

Students are often asked to summarize a poem and this sort of assignment is frequently neither very educational nor constructive.  Part of what makes a poem a great literary accomplishment is that so much is said in so few words. And, it is the condensed nature of a poem which frequently adds to the difficulty in understanding it. The best way to overcome this difficulty is to read and reread. Slowly the meaning will reveal itself and you will suprise yourself at the discoveries you make regarding its meaning. Now, to the poem at hand. First, the poet clearly links Desire , or passion, to Fire. The same is true of the link between Hate and Ice.  While the speaker favors one, he also makes clear that he is familiar with the other. It is up to you to make a determination about the speaker and what this poem reveals about him.  You are a college student so dont be  bullied or afraid of asserting your own ideas. Remember, any viewpoint is valid if it is supported by the text.  At a glance one finds within the poem, speculation, disagreement,  and personal preference, as well as cold logical deduction. Finally it may be interesting to note, that in Dante"s ninth circle of Hell, Judas and Lucifer  are  encased in ice. 

Good Luck

Good luck

lulu81's profile pic

lulu81 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I was told to do a summary and response on fire and ice and I think I will be ok on the response part.  Its the summary Im still struggling with...I understand what the fire and ice mean but how do write a 2 page paper on summary???

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