Last week, I got to thinking about Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice” while I was at work on climate matters. Arctic melting, record high temperatures, Montana blizzard. It’s not a non-sequitur.
“Fire and Ice” does seem open to interpretation as a conception of extinction by climate change. I just finished writing a poem I call “A Polyglot Goodbye,” inspired by “Fire and Ice.” It’s a more direct consideration of extinction by climate change and what goodbye from all humankind would sound like. Sad stuff. But I found happiness in it thinking about the beauty of languages and how we say goodbye in different languages.
Especially Brazilian Portuguese. After a year of instruction in the language, I’m drawn to the lyricism and joy in it. I’ve been watching Professora Virginia’s language videos on YouTube and I love her Brazilian accent. It just makes you want to smile.