The poignant poem "Cross of Snow" is an expression of writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's personal pain over the tragedy of his wife's death. The theme relates the view of a cross carved into the side of a mountain to the long burden of his grief.
One of America's most widely read and loved poets, Longfellow memorialized his wife, who died after a candle lit her dress on fire, in this work. Deep crevasses in the mountainside left the image of a cross in the snow, just as Longfellow's memory of his wife, and grief about her death, remained eternally engraved on his heart. This poem was written in the format of an Italian sonnet, describing a subject, then comparing that subject to something else at the end.