The Planners(Boey Kim Cheng)-Analysis


The poet of the poem “The Planners”, Boey Kim Cheng, uses many techniques, including but not limited to an extended metaphor and personification, to effectively communicate his views on the planners. In the beginning of the poem, the poet states what the planners do. “They plan. They build. All spaces are gridded,” shows that the planners are very organized. The word “permutations” shows that each space is tightly packed to its full potential by the planners. “The buildings are in alignment with the roads”, and the reference to mathematics, since mathematics can create a one and only solution to any problem, shows that the planners have only made one possible outcome for everything they build. One choice. One perfection. But it is their perspective of organization and perfection, and people with different views, such as the personna, many think them as intrusive of their own perspectives and creativity of variety.

Up to this point the poet has successfully used language to persuade us that the builders have planned and built exactly as they want it. Everything uniform and perfect. However, at the end of the first stanza there is a twist. The poet claims that they will “build and not stop.”, stating that they will do what they believe is right without stopping from both physical obstacles and the obstacles of people that oppose their ideas. The next lines show that how nature, which is personified to give it more of a lifelike feeling, draws back and recedes from the builders. Waves do not normally draw back, and skies cannot, obviously, surrender, and so the exaggeration within the personifications shows that the builders have so much impact and effect on the world that even nature is afraid of them. The three lines cast a shadow over the builders and make us wonder whether what the builders do is actually positive or negative.

In the second stanza, the poet uses an extended metaphor to describe and to criticize what the planners do. The...
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