Stand Back Al: Global Warming is on a New Level

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"From what I've tasted of desire/ I hold with those who favor fire."

Robert Frost's short yet poignant poem "Fire and Ice" speaks of the end of the world.  In the above quote, taken from lines three and four, Frost claims that he would prefer the world to be consumed by "fire".  Literal? Perhaps.  Figurative? Most certainly.

The Apocolypse has been depicted in various ways.  Many contemplate whether or not the world will end by means of global warming, another ice age, meteors, hypercanes, or nuclear holocaust.  One thing is for sure and that is that the examples listed incorporate both fire and ice.  Holocaust itself means "a widespread or total destruction, especially by fire."

It is to remain a mystery, perhaps, but the end of the world according to Frost is by either heat or lack thereof.  Fire could include the global warming, nuclear war, a firey meteor or a comet.  Ice could be another ice age in and of itself or perhaps the biproduct of some human act of war.  But is Frost speaking of the world as in the Earth, or as in the Earth's inhabitants?

I took it to mean that perhaps Frost is speaking of a personal apocolypse.  Fire could be a burning rage, a desire to end anger quckly through means of violence, or perhaps a burning passion or love that spirals out of control and consumes an individual or individuals.  Ice could be a terrifying disregard to all fellow human beings (taking the cold shoulder to society), a cruelness of character, sinister actions, slow torture, or perhaps just cynicism taken to a whole new level.

When Frost claims that he would prefer fire, perhaps it is because he views that as the quicker and less painful end.  Ice can be equally as lethal, but there lies with ice the concept of slow suffering and prolonged pain as the mind and/or body slowly numbs and succumbs to lack of warmth.  Fire consumes with an appetite.  The hotter the flame, the more voracious the appetite, the quicker that the world is consumed.

Perhaps society will kill itself by means of anger and rage, passions that exceed reason, and/or general acts of violence.  The ozone layer certainly wouldn't matter very much to mankind at that point. 



I love this poem. And this whole global warming, human destruction, holocaust take on it, is something that I never thought of, but it is completely visible to me as I read over the poem again. Funny how everyone can see so many different translations from the same words. I absolutely agree with your statements on self destruction of the human race. We are all such fragile beings, and it isn't hard to realize that we can so easily be destroyed by our own emotions, desires, and needs. We are very complex beings, when you think about it. It's quite tragic really; what other species have you heard of that dies of its own rage? hmm.

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