The Planners by Boey Kim Cheng

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The poem ‘the planners’ is written by boey kim cheng. He was born in Singapore and is now teaching creative writing in an Australian university. This poem is about how Singapore was planned and built because of the insatiable desire toward perfection of the people. In this poem the poet uses various literary tools like alliterative phrase, oxymoron, irony and many others. There are also various kinds of tones in this poem. The main tones are lament and accusatory. In the line “They plan, They build, All spaces are gridded.” In the first stanza shows that the place is very organized which makes it look to artificial. The word “They” refers to the planners and the repetition of this word shows a slight emotion of anger towards them. According to the planners ‘gridded’ is what is desired. It also describes layout of the city which is very boxed in. In the following line the phrase “permutation of possibilities” suggests that there are various different methods to make the cities perfect and the alliteration of the letter ‘P’ also show the endlessness of the permutation of possibilities. In the third line which is “The buildings are in alignment with the road” reinforces the image of the very planned environment and urban development without any flaws. The line “They build and will not stop.” also has a tone of anger which is emphasized by the repetition of the phrase “thy build”. The phrase “they will not stop” shows that the planners are blinded by their insatiable desire to build and with their own sense of power. It is shown that even the nature surrenders towards the planners where the planners are seeking to control over everything even the nature. The lines “Even the sea draw back/and the skies surrender” also gives a feeling of sadness of the poet. The phrase “skies surrender” is a personification which gives the image of the skies retreating as they were not able to overcome the power of the planners. In the second stanza the poet uses several phrases of...
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