Are the dying fire and the logs of wood symbolic in the poem The Cold Within by James Patrick Kinney?
The dying fire and logs of wood in the poem might be seen as symbolic and hence significant elements. The poet has depicted the discrimination among people based on their caste, class, religion, colour, economic and social conditions. This discrimination is described as the lack of warm human spirit — the cold within their hearts in the very last line of the poem.
So, it would be reasonable to say that the dying fire indicates decreasing human spirit in us. And the logs of wood may symbolize “a man’s property or wealth” including his intellect and genius. People can help others with those physical and intellectual capacity they have. But if they persist in discriminating on grounds of race, religion, caste, gender and ethnicity, they are all lost. This is the message the poet conveys.