Margaret Atwood's The City Planners: Overview

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The poem The City Planners is a poem written by Margaret Atwood. It starts off about the poet driving around the streets and describing what she sees, some things are praised, but there is also a list of complaints. Then the poet describes the City Planners, which I think they are builders or architects and their so-called constructive work. In the view of the poet it seems that they are building very tidy and smart buildings but they are actually destroying nature and the environment. The first stanza starts off in a relaxed tone; the poet uses words such as cruising and Sunday to give a free and easygoing feeling. The poet gives and image of a quiet, ordered, and uniform suburb. “the houses in pedantic rows”. It seems that she is praising the suburb but I think she is actually criticising it, and thinks it is too orderly and unnatural the tone changes to a critical and sarcastic tone. I think that the line “sanitary trees, assert levelness of surface like rebuke to the dent in our cat door.” is very interesting because creates the images the trees are arrogant because of their neatness and is looking down and laughing at the dent in the car door. The poet the contrasts it a bit to the noisiness of the “rational wine of the power mower” the power mower cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass is also symbolism for man-made machinery destroying nature as in the grass. In the second stanza, the poet also starts off describing the neat, and evenness of the suburb. I particularly liked the personification “the roofs all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky,” it gives me an image of the roofs of many houses slanting down at exactly the same angle as if trying to block hide from the sun. This contrasts to the complaints she has “certain things” that displease her. For example smell of oil, paint, and plastic hose. These things are man-made and are harmful to the environment so the poet uses unpleasant words such as sickness and bruise describe...
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