The Negative Impact Of Nature In The Planners And The City Planner

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“The Planners” and “The City Planners” both deal with the negative impact of progress in society due to the relentless pursuit for perfection. In “The City Planners”, Atwood focuses on the impact that planners are having on nature in their quest for perfection. Whereas, in “The Planners”, Kim Cheng takes a different approach, focusing mainly on the history and culture that is lost with the overdevelopment of the city. In “The Planners”, Kim Cheng expresses his frustration with the planners’ power and desire to develop until their vision of perfection is achieved. This is conveyed in the first line of the poem “They plan. They build.”. The poet repeatedly uses the plural pronoun “they” to separate the powerful and powerless in the poem. The simple sentences portray the planners’ power and lack of creativity. The city is developed in “the grace of mathematics”. The poem is conveying that the beauty of the city is due to logical thinking and not individuality. There is no freedom in the city, as shown in the hyperbole “all spaces are gridded”. This highlights that nothing can escape the planners, every detail must be perfectly laid out. Multiple times throughout the poem, Kim Cheng references the negative effects the planners’ oppression of nature is having on the environment. The poet uses personification in the first stanza to give nature human qualities, and therefore evoke empathy from the reader. Nothing can stop the planners: “even the sea draws back and the skies
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