[Somebody Else's Commentary] Initially, few readers progressed in their appreciation beyond the deceptively simple surfaces of his poems. But Frost writes symbolic poetry; to arrive at certain basic truths about life, he explores feelings and thoughts obliquely, through the use of simple bucolic incidents. Poems as immediately accessible as "Stopping by Woods", "Mending Wall" and "Birches" possess levels of meaning that are dark and profound - like subtle literary parables. Although few of his early readers ever went beyond the delight to the wisdom of Frost's poetry, the notion that he was merely the singer of a benevolent nature is no longer accepted. He was a passionate and troubled man, who sought in his poems 'a momentary stay against confusion'; and his skillfully constructed poems testify to his mastery over that confusion. -- Gary Geddes, "20th Century Poetry and Poetics" (Oxford, 1996). [My Own Commentary] Frost is a master at making simple words say profound things. Here, he takes an idle daydream, a whimsical (albeit slightly dark) musing, and converts it into a telling insight into the destructive power of desire and hate, fire and ice respectively. The metaphor is apt, and powerful: just as fire and ice may one day destroy the external, physical world, desire and hate destroy the internal, spiritual one. Very gnomic, and very Frost. thomas. [Minstrels Links] Other poems by Robert Frost: Poem #730, "Mending Wall" Poem #681, "The Secret Sits" Poem #336, "A Patch of Old Snow" Poem #170, "The Need of Being Versed in Country Things" Poem #155, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" Poem #51, "The Road Not Taken " The last of these has a biography and lots of critical notes.