How is the above line connected to the theme In James Patrick Kinney’s poem “The Cold Within”?
The first line of the second stanza of the poem The Cold Within “Their dying fire in need of logs” undoubtedly strikes the keynote of the poem.
The six persons who were sitting around the dying fire needed their logs to keep it burning and keep them warm. But this is only the surface meaning. Actually it was the discrimination in their minds, the coldness of their hearts, which was responsible for their death. None of them agreed to help others as they shared different colour, social class or different religious faith. It was the fire, the warm human spirit in their hearts that was also dying and they needed to share the logs of wood to keep the fire burning and also light their inner fire. It would help them all in building a world where everyone knows how to live together, how to live and let live. This is the central theme of the poem.
Fire is dying in need of logs means fire can only be kept alive with the help of logs. Similarly, being compassionate we can keep our heart alive.
Literally, it refers to the fire that is dying and needs to be kept alive with the use of a log. Metaphorically, it can be understood as the fire of compassion in their hearts that is dying. To keep it burning what they need it is a log of wood, but they do not use it. Thus, by the end, each one of them dies from “the cold within”. Outside cold could have been taken care of only if they were not cold from within.