Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday's Poetry: "Fire and Ice"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Monday morning - and a very light snow is beginning to drift by my window here in the Missouri Ozarks.  Tomorrow is the much-ballyhooed New Hampshire Primary.

My intent today was to select a poem focused on the cold hardness of New England, and to pay a bit of homage to New Hampshire as the state herds itself to the polls in an effort to tell the rest of the nation who should be our next leader.  Robert Frost, once a citizen of neighboring Vermont, immediately came to mind as someone who had undoubtedly written many poems that would fit the bill.

A bit of research led me to "New Hampshire," an extremely long, free verse poem by Frost that meanders across several states.  "New Hampshire" was the title poem in a volume of poetry penned by Frost in 1923, a little book that went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.  Three other very famous works by the New England poet were also part of that volume:  "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," "Nothing Gold Can Stay," and today's selection, "Fire and Ice."

While unlike "New Hampshire," "Fire and Ice" is exceeding brief - but it is highly descriptive and somewhat appropriate as this year's crop of national political blowhards scurry across the rocky landscape spewing their gases in a vain attempt to warm the cold and flinty hearts of a people who pride themselves on their independence and ruggedness.  A bit of fire, a bit of ice.

Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost

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.

Stay strong, New Hampshire - they're almost gone!

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