Theodore Roethke is Michigan native poet who grew up around his father's greenhouse. His experience with the greenhouse has influenced him to do some of his writings on the subject of plants and nature. In his poem "Cuttings" Roethke the flower in the poem goes through death and rebirth. In the second part of this poem entitled "Cuttings" (later), the struggle and the actual "birth" appears in more detail. This poem shows the relationship between the plant and the person. It also shows not only the rebirth in the plant but the rebirth in the speaker as well.
The first line in the first stanza is where the struggle begins. It's as if the rebirth of this plant started off with a struggle. "This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks, /Cut stems struggling to put down feet" The line personifies the roots. It gives them human qualities such as feet and by mentioning that it wrestles, struggles, and actually has an urge, which to humans are a psychological need for something. He is saying that the plant is struggling to come back after wrestling with death. The "resurrection of dry sticks" is the resurrection of the roots. .
The next two lines in the first stanza also deal with the struggle of the rebirth. "What saint strained so much, / rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?" The reference of the saint brings the plant to human life again because in order for a being to become a saint one must first die. The sainthood of the person is almost like rebirth also because they have come back as saint. From the cuttings the plant has left one plant or world and has recreated life on another.
The next stanza is where the relationship between the person and the plant intensifies. This is where the person begins to feel an almost biological connection with the roots. "I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing, / In my veins, in my bones I feel it,-/ the small waters seeping upward," The plant has now been personified as a human baby.