The poem, Fire and Ice, talks about the extremity between two elements and the possibility of mass destruction. The extremity in the poem reminds me of the mental state of mankind. I personally believe that the destruction of earth will not be caused by nature, but rather in the hands of man. We take things for granted and we consume more than we produce, all for the sake of our survival. This alone is an issue that has not been addressed.
The extremity that is talked about in this poem also inspired me to make reference to a play 4.48 Psychosis written by British playwright, Sarah Kane. Sarah Kane writes about someone suffering from clinical depression, which was also a disorder Kane suffered from. Many believe that the play was Kane’s suicide note as she committed suicide not long after she wrote the play.
In the play, she wrote about destruction, as quoted below:
“the only thing that’s permanent is destruction
we’re all going to disappear
trying to leave a mark more permanent than myself.”
This could be linked to the idea of the destruction of humankind in Frost’s poem. The extremity in one’s mental state of mind can be destructive in our lives, evident in Sarah Kane’s work, many of our historical leaders and other examples. Fire and ice can also symbolise the “anger” and “pain” in the human emotion. When set ablaze, these emotions can change our mental state and let loose destructive behaviour. It can destroy not only ourselves, but the people and environment around us, as we let our personal selfishness and greed take over our minds.
In the image sequence, one sees the fire in the lady first, followed by the ice in the man. These photos show the calm before the storm – man in their “normal state of mind”. The colours in the photos are pictures of sunset and mountains. There is also a soft overlay of man-made materials, such as metal and cement in the pictures. This is to further represent the contrast in “fire” and “ice”. The last image show an animal skeleton and a woman curled up, bonded by two distinct colours – red and blue. This is to symbolise the destruction mentioned in the poem, where in the end, the worst enemy is ourselves.
4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane
Fire: Eutah Mizushima / Stefanus Martanto Setyo Husodo
Ice: Jake Melara / Luca Zanon
Death: Sebastian Boguszewicz / Volkan Olmez / Josefa Holland-Merten / Oscar Keys