book cover for The Ice Decides

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The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica

Published by Finishing Line Press, 2012

The Ice Decides

The ice decides
where I can go.
The ice divides
life from death,
safe passage from abyss.
But it is the light
on the ice that defines
beauty, terror, silence,
the blue awe of Antarctica.


Following in Coleridge’s footsteps, Karla Linn Merrifield takes readers to the ends of the earth – to the world of albatrosses – and penguins and whales – in The Ice Decides: Poems of Antarctica, a journey of beautiful Antarctic discoveries.

In this new collection of poems, her seventh, Karla Linn Merrifield brings to life the extraordinary landscape of the South Pole with vibrant imagery and the authentic voice of a poet who traveled the continent’s landscape of snow and ice.

The Ice Decides allows readers to meet those whimsical (and smelly) penguins and other arctic birds. To chase whales across rough seas. And to come to understand that Antarctica is far more “The Blue Continent” than “The White Continent” as they face icebergs the size of city blocks. Readers will even encounter the enchanting green of the island continent – its 500-year-old mosses. And you’ll watch as global warming tightens its grip on the great storehouses of ice.
Romantic Poetry

If you’ve been lucky enough to visit the Antarctic, you’ll know exactly what Karla Linn Merrifield is talking about in these lovely poems. And if you haven’t, you’ll know too—because they’re precise, powerful, full of depth.

– Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, Enough and Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future; founder of, the grassroots climate campaign

Karla Linn Merrifield’s poems in The Ice Decides explore the “something else” revealed in her journey to Antarctica– the blue awe that is “the same blue, the truest blue/ of the ten-thousand blues of that blue continent./ I can see it now: the blue that does not fade.” These poems rise to the demanding beauty of a place few have seen– allowing us to partake in her discoveries that are mythical, spiritual and, at times, whimsical.

– M.J. Iuppa, poet, author of Within Reach and Daring Escapes

Karla Linn Merrifield Images

Get your copy:

From the author: Signed copies from the author via email query.