The Planners, a poem written by Boey Kim Cheng in Singapore.Boey Kim Cheng demonstrates this heartless modernization in his poem by using a constant perfect strait almost unnatural description of everything. The soullessness of Singapore is also portrayed in this poem by its perpetual effort to neglect and erase the past or any history of it, creating a facade of culture. This city is so soulless and synthetic that it’s not even considered part of nature. Boey Kim Cheng starts the poem with the mysterious “They”, implementing a higher power controlling everything. And in the end he says that not even art is acceptable.
The word “gridded” already by itself sounds cold since nothing natural is so uniform, strait or monotonous. Even the alliterative language used “skies surrender”, with the sharp “Sss” sound at the beginning makes it sound pin point accurate, as if precisely planned. Nature is colorful and lively and random, it has a soul. Unlike the city that Boey Kim Cheng describes. “Gridded” Can also represent a box, or some confined space. Implying that creativity in confined, boxed in, since it doesn’t take much creativity to draw a box. Without creativity there is no soul, because a soul is what gives us each our unique ideas, which can’t be seen in this city. With all of them having the same idea of box after box they aren’t being unique, meaning they aren’t showing their soul, they are being soulless. The use of free verse clearly expresses the purpose of the poem that is to signify how the arrangement of something simply limits the beauty it possesses in its original form. Boey Kim Cheng lets his poem flow freely, showing his opposition to planning and how it compresses everything. The three irregular and unmatched stanzas also show the same opposition to identical and aligned buildings seen today. “They plan. They build…” There appear to be an obsession with perfection and uniformity, for “The buildings are in alignment with the