The Planners : By Boey Kim Cheng
They plan. They build. All spaces are gridded,
filled with permutations of possibilities.
The buildings are in alignment with the roads
which meet at desired points
linked by bridges all hang
in the grace of mathematics.
They build and will not stop.
Even the sea draws back
and the skies surrender.
They erase the flaws,
the blemishes of the past, knock off
useless blocks with dental dexterity.
All gaps are plugged
with gleaming gold.
The country wears perfect rows
of shining teeth.
Anaesthesia, amnesia, hypnosis.
They have the means.
They have it all so it will not hurt,
so history is new again.
The piling will not stop.
The drilling goes right through
the fossils of last century.
But my heart would not bleed
poetry. Not a single drop
to stain the blueprint
of our past's tomorrow.
The poet addresses his unhappiness and anger at the rapid urbanization all around. He believes that the only people to blame are the real estate ‘planners’ whose only objective is to make money. 1) The poet says that the planners only sketch, plan and build on all spaces available. He talks about urban space being part of a major grid, which simply grows in dimension, with no regards for the past. 2) He says that their selfish plans have no uniqueness or ingenuity and are the result of certain predetermined combinations. 3) The poet further reveals his disgust at the alignment and perfection the planners hope to achieve by connecting all spaces with roads. 4) He observes that the roads are linked at points that benefit the planners and are designed by them, for themselves. 5) Cheng also talks about different urban spaces being linked by bridges that seem to be suspended. 6) According to the poet, the angles that these bridges flaunt, link all urbanized areas with calculated measure. 7) Cheng makes a very profound statement by saying that builders and planners know only how to spin money from real estate and will...
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