Robert Frost and the end of the world

Robert Frost is, I think, the greatest of genuine American poets, someone who speaks from his heart but speaks from an understanding of nature, someone for whom the climate was a friend with its caprices and jealousies and help and betrayals. Frost was a Californian who spent time in England but moved to and wrote of New England and its seasons and idiosyncrasies, as a mirror of the world.

The aptly named Frost contemplated how our world will end, in a very personal way. He had no doubt it would end and did not seem sad about it; perhaps that should be our own view of the matter. Robert Frost wrote nine short lines of verse about it:-

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.

And Frost has a good point; it is perhaps an abundance of desire that is threatening our world and fire will end it. But nothing is straightforward. Having tasted fire he speculates

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.

And so it should.

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