The Planners By Boey Kim Cheng
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 stop at nothing.
8)He expresses disapproval of the fact that even nature seems to be at their mercy. The poet believes that in their aspirations to make more money they push they sea back and claim land.
9) He also hints at tall skyscrapers that seem to make the skies surrender.
10) In the second stanza Cheng compares the planners to dentists. With a tinge of sarcasm he says that they seem to be on a mission to destroy heritage and the past as if those structures are flaws in their way, like rotting teeth.
11) Continuing with sarcasm, he refers to unique ancient structures as blemishes or scars that the planners aim at knocking off.
12) The poet believes that the planners have the power, the equipment and the means to get rid of older structures like useless blocks or rather teeth that a dentist would remove with precision.
13) He says that these planners are very well equipped to ensure that opposition and comparison that form gaps in their progress are done away with.
14) He compares the modern building material to gleaming gold, keeping up with his sarcasm, and comments on the new-age materials used to replace heritage structures.
15-16) He takes his comparison of the planners with dentists further by referring to modern structures in cities as rows of teeth that gleam and shine, devoid of any ingenuity.
17) Cheng lists very strong words to describe the effect he thinks the planners have on common people. He says that the common man does not oppose this rapid urbanization because he seems to be hypnotized by the show of wealth and prosperity. He talks about innocent investors being injected with anaesthetics and suffering from loss of memory.
18) Cheng says that the planners have all the means to continue doing what they are currently doing...and will display the same attitude for years to come.
19) He says that they have the power to ensure that people will not be affected by what they do.
20) Cheng also believes that these people intend to rewrite history.
21) He believes that their greed and ambitious nature will never cease.
22-23) He also compares them to archaeologists, but not those who drill to recover ancient wealth, but those that destroy the soul of the past century.
24-25-26-27) Using irony and metaphorical connotation, Cheng reveals that considering the state of affairs, he does not want to moan or write poetry for the loss of heritage. He believes that doing so would stain the present.