Friday, April 12, 2013

Desire or hate?

The poems I post each day are in celebration of National Poetry Month.  We all know there are national this-and-that months for all sorts of things and those who care about those things celebrate--or don't celebrate--those months. Obviously I'm among the minor few who care about poetry.  In fact, I see National Poetry month as a time to indulge in a basic trait--I'm an evangelistic missonary by impulse.  When something seems very wonderful to me, I want to convert the world and share my excitement and delight.

Evangelists, as most of us know, can be so narrow in their views they make others cringe.  I hope not to be like that but I do foist poems upon various and sundry during the month of April. But I an happy to discover new poems or new readings of well known poems. At a lecture Wednesday, Frost's "Fire and Ice" was briefly discussed. I've known this poem most of my life. In all the ecological end-world talk about global "warming"  or climate instability, as I've heard it called, I think, now and then, that the world will have little ice left so it will end in fire.  Although I don't really take the poem that literally, I admit I hadn't thought the obvious interpretation which the speaker mentioned as if everyone read it as being about desire (fire) and hate (ice). Well .... duh!  Where was my brain?  So simple a poem, so obvious, right there, spelled out for all to see.  Why did I retain my adolescent idea that this was really about the end of the world when it is about human emotions?

FIRE AND ICE

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.

4 comments:

Granny Annie said...

I love poetry and had only decided yesterday to begin each morning, after my devotional, reading a selection of poetry aloud. Thank you for giving me Frost's FIRE AND ICE to begin my journey. I did not know it was National Poetry Month.

June Calender said...

Maybe you are a bit psychic, Granny Annie. Reading some poetry aloud each day is a wonderful idea.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Yes, I can see the duality of love and hate -- Frost favoring love but for also I understand the poem to condone hate as well? I'm not the best interpreter of poems. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks for your thought, Barbara. My feeling is not some much he condones hate but he knows it exists and is powerful -- as powerful as desire, which I think is not love, something more primal as is hate.