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Evaluation of The Pattern of Rhymes as Presented by Christina Rossetti in Remember, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In, The Cross of Snow

  • Subject: Literature
  • Topic: Rhyme
  • Pages 2
  • Words: 802
  • Published: 12 March 2019
  • Downloads: 32
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Death is the sole, inevitable truth of life, and those with loved ones must one day accept that they will have to live through the deaths of others throughout their lifetime. Christina Rossetti’s “Remember” and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Cross of Snow” both feature narrators who must deal with the reality of death. While the narrator of “Remember” wishes to live beyond the grave through the memories of his loved ones, he has accepted that they might move on so that he would not continue to burden them from beyond the grave; the narrator of “The Cross of Snow,” on the other hand, is unable to move on after the death of his loved one. These stark characterizations when exploring the grieving process can be seen in how their respective poets wrote the poems.

The poets of each poem cleverly utilizes an unique rhyme scheme to pursue their goal in developing their characters’ grieving process. In Christina Rossetti’s “Remember,” the rhyme scheme is that throughout lines 2 through 7, every line rhymed the one beside it. This emphasized how the presumably soon to be dead narrator does not want to be forgotten after his death, as having every other line rhyme with the following line made it seem as if they were attached to each other and refused to let go. The narrator pleads to the audience to “remember me” throughout these lines. However, this pattern ends after the narrator accepts his death and that his loved ones may move on, and there is a sense of closure by having the first line of this acceptance, line 8, rhyme with the first line of the poem. Afterwards, there are gaps in the rhyme scheme, such as line 9 not having a line to rhyme with until line 13 as well as 12 with 14. This growing distance between rhyming pairs may represent the processing of moving on after accepting death, and by moving on, there could finally be space between the gaps that the narrator had wanted to hold on to. A similar technique is also used in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Cross of Snow,” in which line 1 rhymes with line 8, and throughout lines 2 through 7, each line rhymes with the one beside it, as if there was a sense of attachment and a refusal to move on after the death of the narrator’s loved one. This parallels the rhyme scheme technique utilized by the narrator of “Remember,” as both narrators initially wanted to still hold on after death. However, unlike the narrator of “Remember,” the narrator of “The Cross of Snow” continues to refuse to let go as lines 9 through 11 rhymes with lines 12-14 in order. While the rhymes are three lines apart each as there is indeed a distance, the rhymes are still orderly and systematic, revealing that the narrator acknowledges his loved one has been dead for “eighteen years,” but time has grown “changeless” since then and he has not moved on.

Another technique used to develop the differing grieving process in the two poems is their word choice. Throughout Christina Rossetti’s “Remember,” imagery is used to describe an atmosphere of remembrance. The narrator describes, when he wants to be remembered, that he wants to be remembered “day by day” after it becomes too late to “counsel then or pray.” On the contrast, however, when the narrator is willing for the audience to move on, he does this in hopes that he doesn’t leave behind a “darkness and corruption.” The light of day contrasts from the darkness, as does the connotations behind counsel and pray with corruption. This contrast helps add to the shift from wanting to be remembered to moving on so that he wouldn’t become a hindrance or a burden. In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Cross of Snow,” however, there is no contrast to signify a change in heart. The atmosphere of the poem can be described through the use of words such as “night,” “sun-defying, in its deep ravines,” “a cross of snow,” “changeless [seasons],” and that the “night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.” The choice of words have the connotation of dull and timid, creating the atmosphere that nothing’s changing, hence how the narrator feels “changeless since the day she died.”

The revelation that people are dead after they die, as redundant as the statement may seem, is a difficult truth of life to accept, whether it be through a difficult personal experience or a childhood-scarring explanation of the plot of Bambi. Coping with death, the narrators of Christina Rossetti’s “Remember” and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Cross of Snow” perceive death differently and have found differing ideas of what to do next with their loves or the lives of their loved ones.

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Evaluation of the Pattern of Rhymes As Presented By Christina Rossetti in Remember, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In, The Cross of Snow. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 17, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/evaluation-of-the-pattern-of-rhymes-as-presented-by-christina-rossetti-in-remember-and-henry-wadsworth-longfellow-in-the-cross-of-snow/
“Evaluation of the Pattern of Rhymes As Presented By Christina Rossetti in Remember, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In, The Cross of Snow.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/evaluation-of-the-pattern-of-rhymes-as-presented-by-christina-rossetti-in-remember-and-henry-wadsworth-longfellow-in-the-cross-of-snow/
Evaluation of the Pattern of Rhymes As Presented By Christina Rossetti in Remember, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In, The Cross of Snow. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/evaluation-of-the-pattern-of-rhymes-as-presented-by-christina-rossetti-in-remember-and-henry-wadsworth-longfellow-in-the-cross-of-snow/> [Accessed 17 Oct. 2021].
Evaluation of the Pattern of Rhymes As Presented By Christina Rossetti in Remember, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow In, The Cross of Snow [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2021 Oct 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/evaluation-of-the-pattern-of-rhymes-as-presented-by-christina-rossetti-in-remember-and-henry-wadsworth-longfellow-in-the-cross-of-snow/
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