How Does Cheng's "The Planners" and Atwood's "The City Planners" Present the Modern Environment We Live in?

Topics: Poetry, Modernism, Sociology Pages: 2 (496 words) Published: June 27, 2013
In his poem Boey Kim Cheng presents the modern environment we live in by showing how nature gets suppressed by ever-growing concrete jungles. He shows the nonstop continuing of the building by repetition of "They build" in the first stanza. He emphasizes it by separating the first two "They build" with the last one by an enjambment, which creates an impression of the relentlessness of building and how unstoppable it is. He puts a final emphasize to this idea by creating a contrast at the end of the first stanza, when the last "They build" is followed by "will not stop.". He creates an impression of nature being suppressed. He says that the sea "draws back" and the sky "surrender". Both are personified which creates sympathy. Moreover, Cheng shows how the concrete jungle controls our lives. "The buildings" represent business, hence work as well as a place to live in. "roads" represent transport and human movement. Those are the two biggest and most important aspects of out lives, which are controlled by "The Planners". They decide where the roads go, and so where you can go. They choose where to put the buildings, therefore where you have to live. Another way in which Boey Kim Cheng present the modernity is through the last stanza of the poem. He describes the modern society through himself. The quotation "my heart would not bleed poetry" shows several things. Firstly, "poetry" symbolizes the way of expressing yourself as poets stand up for something via words in poems. The fact that he will not "bleed" it shows how he does not want to spoil "the blueprint" of modern lifestyle and technological progress by his opinions and beliefs. The fact that the last peters out in comparison to the rest of the poem shows how the poet lost all hope of change and so does not want to try any longer. However, it might also show how he gains more control over his thoughts and actions. Atwood's "The City Planners" is very similar to "The Planners" as it also represents the...
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