Death is the subject of both poems, Remember and The Cross of Snow, written by Christina Rossetti and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow respectively. The authors use many literary techniques, such as imagery, mood, and metaphors to explore the grieving process from two different perspectives, the dead in Remember and the living in The Cross of Snow. Although the poems have some similarities, they are also very different. While Longfellow’s poem is about remembering and grieving, Rossetti’s is about forgetting instead of mourning.
In Remember, the speaker is a dead person speaking to her beloved. “Remember me when I am gone away….into the silent land.” The poem opens with the deceased asking her loved one to remember her when she enters the silent land, a metaphor for time after death and a relationship. Time is lost and relationships are severed when one dies. In the poem, the man wants to remember and mourn while the woman wants him to forget. “Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.” She would rather he moved on with his life and forget her instead of stopping his life and being overwhelmed with grief.
In The Cross of Snow, the speaker is the survivor thinking of a deceased loved one. Longfellow uses words such as “long” and “sleepless” to demonstrate how life seemed to go by slower after the death of his beloved. He is unable to sleep, and remains awake in the room where his wife died, metaphor; he is bearing a cross of grief for his dead wife. “Eighteen year….seasons, changeless since the day she died.” Longfellow explains how nothing is the same without his love. The seasons seem to blend together and everything seems pointless. Rossetti’s poem has a more secular view, while Longfellow’s is more Christian. Longfellow uses imagery that relates to Jesus, such as the “cross of snow,” which represents the crucifix that he died on.
The similarities between the poems lie in the subject and moods. Both poems revolve around being separated from a loved one in result of a death. The mood in Remember and The Cross of Snow is sad and very melancholy. The readers can almost feel what the speaker is feeling.