An Essay

The revisions to Roethke's poem "Cuttings" change the poem into one about the rebirth and growth of a plant, rather than the survival of one.These changes include a change in the way the growth of the plant stems is being described, a change in language, and the unbalancing of the two stanzas.The focus on the action in thefirst draft is essentially on survival.In the rewrite, the tone changes to a more positive tone.The same action is being detailed, but from a slightly different perspective.The general language of the poem also changes from the original draft.Lastly, the unbalancing of the two stanzas by making the second one longer also changes the action of the poem.These revisions shift the heart of the poem from survival to growth and life.
The description of the growth of the plant changes from initially being about survival to focusing on rebirth and growth.Thefirst poem contains phrases such as "coaxing up water" and "stem-fur dries", painting a grim picture for the growth of the plant, almost as if it is difficult for it to survive.The plant is essentially drying out, causing it to die.This is also evident towards the end of the poem when the "musty sheath" is mentioned, giving us a sense that the plant is not in the best condition to begin with as well.In the second draft, the line regarding "waters seeping upward" describes the water as almost willingly helping the plant to survive.This differs from the "coaxing" necessary in thefirst poem, as that sounds as if the plant is essentially pleading with the water to allow the plant to live.The personification of the plant and water is present in both poems, but the implied motivations of the plant and water are different in the two drafts.
Another major are that helps to shift the theme of the poem is the general language that is used.The language throughout the poem also un…

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