The poetic expression relies heavily on the rhyme scheme. “Fire and Ice” rests upon an irregularly interweaving of the pattern: three rhymes and two line lengths into the poem consisting of nine lines. Each line finishes either with an ‘-ire, -ice, or –ate’ rhyme. This particular pattern is similarly used by Dante in his Inferno. The lines are patterned either with four or eight syllables. The poem is predominantly in iambic rhythm. The poet applies enjambment in line 7 to provide an effect of hurriedness to reach the point of culmination.
The poem is written in a single 9-line stanza, which ultimately condenses in the final two lines. The iambic rhythm is an irregular mix of iambic tetrameter and iambic di-meter, and the scheme of rhyming is punctuated in ‘ABA ABC BCB’ both suggesting and departing from the commonly used pattern of ‘terza rima’, which is an arrangement of triplets, especially in iambic pentameter, that rhyme ABA BCB CDC.
The rhyme scheme creates the effective connection between words of the poem. The word “desire” rhymes with the word “fire” and the meaning established is that of the fiery passion of desire. Such rhyming takes up symbolic meanings. Moreover, the repetitive rhyming of “fire” and “ice” with themselves, demands the readers’ attention to the concept of imagery, beyond the literal meanings. Fire and ice then symbolize passion and hatred in their excesses, respectively. The sounds reverberate with an inherent repetitive pattern, “ice…ice…ice” and “ire…ire…ire”, evoking the readers’ spontaneity of feelings.
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