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Reflective Essay: Influence of Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice on My Poem

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Piano keys

I sit on the stool,

stare at the piano keys,

so many yet so little,

but all they remind me of

is the guns

and those screams

unwelcomed but ringing as I

press on the piano keys

and they pull me

beneath the depths of water,

am I supposed to see different

colours underwater?

Because all I remember

is light and darkness

merged into one,

they were never meant to be.

My poem conveys the physical assertive power the “White” race had over the “Black” race. Like Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice, it reflects the intense aspects of humanity, when violence in either physical or emotional form is utilised. Robert Frost used fire and ice to symbolise the different extremities of human emotions; fire connotes heat, passion and anger, whereas ice connotes cold, and hate, and the imagery of emotions is created by connotations of “fire,” and “ice”. The use of enjambment especially in Lines 6-9 suggests the idea of inevitability, by reinforcing and hurrying the message of the poem: nothing gets in the way of extreme emotions. Similarly, the vocabulary used in his poem, “perish,” “destruction,” emphasises the great degree of negative power human emotions have. In my poem, the “piano keys” symbolise the Black and White race, “so many yet so little” (there are more white keys than black keys in a piano) in Line 3 expressing the magnitude of power the Whites had over the Blacks. Imagery is shown in “pull me beneath the depths of water” where the “pulling” water signifies the great power the Whites had. “Light and darkness,” connotes the two races and their differences. Lines 14-16, state how “light and darkness” are “merged into one, enjambment no longer being used in the last line to emphasise the significance of the next statement, “they were never meant to be,”. This overall endorses the fact that even though Blacks Whites occupied the same world, they could never live harmoniously together.

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Breaking that wall

Its gaze was fire, hot like burning suns,

that fiery passion smouldering with heat

and mounting pressure surging through its core,

it feels its wounds then slumping with defeat

from desperation coursing through its veins,

the beast within still raging through the walls,

the red pulsating, livid like the flames,

the anger screaming hate to end it all.

Bloody murder! They could never see

the truth – the bitter truth concealed inside,

that tomb of secrets taken to the grave,

for hell burns over when you’re forced to hide

Inside, too deep inside the cave of truth,

still throbbing from expulsion overload,

and the chilly choking chains of silence but

silence is broken, breaking the abode.

My poem conveys the power of emotions and how suppressing them or bottling feelings has consequences. Like Robert Frost’s Mending Wall, it reflects the “wall” as a barrier that prevents interaction on either side. Robert Frost used the wall to symbolise the insecurities in a relationship; the neighbour’s pine orchard connoting his “prickly” nature, whereas the narrator’s apple orchard connoting his sweet nature. The wall in the poem prevented the narrator’s positiveness rubbing off on the neighbour. Frost’s use of imagery of the wall and the materials used, “in each hand, like an old-stone heavily armed,” made out the wall to be like a weapon. The iambic pentameter used for most of Frost’s poem follows a heartbeat rhythm which emphasises how “serious” the construction of the “fence” was for the neighbour who relied on the wall whereas the narrator found it to be a game. My poem is about a volcano, where “cave of truth”, represents the heart of the volcano, and “expulsion overload” is when too much lava has been expelled. The volcano itself symbolises the suppressed emotions (lava), ready to explode, and how the wall of silence preventing the emotions from being expressed will be broken. The poem incorporates iambic pentameter and a heartbeat rhythm to express the seriousness and severity of being forced to suppress emotions. The imagery in “hot like burning suns,” and “the red pulsating, livid like the flames,” appeals to the intense feelings of passion and anger, where the colour red and flames connote great anger and rage.

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Reflective Essay: Influence of Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice on My Poem. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from
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