Although Robert Frost wrote during the same period as the modernist poets, he had a fraught relationship with modernism and is more closely affiliated with the English Georgian poets and the Southern Agrarians. While the modernists tended to be urban and cosmopolitan, Frost's work was rural and regional. While the modernists experimented with free verse, Frost once said that "Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down." While most modernist verse is characterized by dense allusiveness and complex language, Frost aims at surface clarity and simplicity.
"Fire and Ice" has a regular meter and rhyme scheme and uses simple and direct language. It was first published in 1920. In terms of its relationship with modernism, the closest parallel is the ending of Eliot's 1925 poem "The Hollow Men":
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
In "Fire and Ice," the contrast of a dramatic conflagration with a slow freezing is similar to the "whimper" of Eliot's poem.
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