Class 11

2.6: The Planners


Activities On The Planners

Ice Breakers

(i) You have heard the proverb ‘Plan your work, work your plan’. It means-

(a) Planning of the work is important.
(b) Without planning work cannot be accomplished.
(c) Make planning and work according to that plan.
(d) Planning and work are two sides of same coin.
(ii) Choose the proper alternatives from the statements given below which
would explain why town planning is essential-
(a) To develop the city according to the guidelines.
(b) To get the ‘Best City Award’.
(c) To attract the tourists.
(d) To use and develop the land available in the city for the interest of the

(iii) Given below are various professions and the nature of work in respective professions.

Sr. No. Profession Nature of Work
1. Anaesthetist.   A person whose job is to give drugs which make
the person not to feel pain especially in preparation
for a medical operation.
2. Pharmacist A person who has been trained to prepare medicines
and sell them to public.
3. Orthodontist Specialist in the treatment of problems concerning the position of teeth and jaws.
4. Dermatologist The medical study of the skin and its diseases
5. Architect  The ability to make considered decision.
6. Chartered
A person who is engaged in the profession of
accounting and examining the statements and
records of accounts.
7. Editor  A person who is in charge of a newspaper or of
a part of a newspaper.


(A1) Read the poem and complete the web about the activities the planners do.

(A2) Go through the poem and state whether the following statements are true
or false.
(a) Planners plan to construct buildings wherever they find place. True
(b) Planners take public consent for the alterations they make in the old
structures of the city.False
(c) Planners are concerned about the environment of the area.False
(d) Planners make their plans mathematically perfect, at the same time they calculate their profit. True
(e) Planners deliberately find drawbacks in the old city planning. True
(f) The newly planned city looks modern and amazingly beautiful.True
(g) Planners paint beautiful pictures of the upcoming changes in the city which
charm the citizens. True
(h) Planners make tactful changes so that citizens do not recognise the familiar
landmarks. True
(A3) Read the expression:
‘the blueprint of our past’s tomorrow’. Consider in a group why the poet
has not mentioned ‘the present’. It is because of the planners who have
possessed our ‘present’ in order to change ‘our past’ into the ‘future’ they
desire. Go through the poem and write the lines which support this thought.
(a) The buildings are in alignment with the roads which meet at desired points.
(b)They erase the flaws,the blemishes of the past.
(c)All gaps are plugged with gleaming gold.
(d) History is new again.
(e) The drilling goes right through the fossils of last century.
(f) Not a single drop to stain the blueprint of our past’s tomorrow.
(A4) The term ‘Anaesthesia’ in the poem means – ‘The planner gives beautiful
pictures of the new modern city’. Now find out what is Amnesia and Hypnosis
in the given context.
Ans: Amnesia : The planner makes such changes in the city to compel people to forget the old city.
         Hypnosis : The planner hypnotised people by showing the dreams of a modern city.
(A5) Pick out the statements which aptly depict the theme of the poem.
(a) In the poem the speaker memorises the past.
(b) In ‘The Planners’ the poet describes the unstoppable force of modernisation.
(c) The poet talks about the replacement of natural environment by the
concrete jungle.
(d) The poet proposes to stop modernisation.
(e) The poet laments helplessly.
(A6) The tone of the poet is sarcastic. When he writes ‘All spaces are gridded
filled with permutations of possibilities’ he intends to indicate the efforts
made by the planner to exploit every available piece of land without any
consideration of harming nature or violating attachments of people to
places. Make pairs/groups and find out some more sarcastic lines having
the same effect.
Ans: 1. Even the sea draws back and the skies surrender.
         2. The drilling goes right through the fossils of last century.
(A7) (i) Write the appreciation of the poem.

About the poem/poet/title
Boey Kim Cheng is a Singapore – born Australian poet . The poem is about the planners / developers. The poem is in free verse form. It has no particular rhyme scheme. Title of the poem is self-explanatory.  
The poet describes the unstoppable force of modernisation in the poem. He memorises his past. He talks about the replacement of natural environment by the concrete jungle.
Poetic devices/language/style
The use of alliteration in the poem added rhythm. Extended metaphor of dentist makes the poem live. The poet has used paradox, climax, oxymoron and sarcasm in the poem.
Special feature / novelties/ focusing elements
The poet is nostalgic about his old city. When we come across modernisation around us we feel the echoes of his words.
In the name of modernisation the nature has been exploited. The people became helpless.   
Opinion about the poem  

The poem is a mirror to the modern society. In the beginning the poem depicts what the planners do. In the middle the poem describes what the planners achieve. Towards the end we come across how the poet is affected due to modernisation .
(ii) Write the summary of the poem.

(A8) Read the first and second stanza of the poem. We understand that the
poet wants to suggest the powerful dominance of the planners who shape
the town according to their selfish desires. Make a list of such expressions.
You may begin with –
(a) All the spaces are gridded, filled with permutations of possibilities.
(b)They build and will not stop.
(c) They erase the flaws,the blemishes of the past.
(d) The piling will not stop.
(A9) (i) Read the expression ‘permutation of possibility’. The consonant sound ‘P’
at beginning of the successive words creates sonorous effect. This is an
example of Alliteration. Find out more examples of Alliteration from the
Ans : 1. dental dexterity : Explanation –  The consonantal sound ‘d’ is repeated pleasingly 
         2. and the skies surrender. Explanation – (Try to write yourself. )
         3. with gleaming gold

(A10) Complete the following table.
Give suggestions to protect our national heritage monuments.

Figure of Speech Line of the poem Explanation
1. Personification the skies surrender.   The sky is imagined to
act like human being.
2. Alliteration  with gleaming gold The consonantal sound ‘g’ is repeated pleasingly.
3.Oxymoron of our past’s tomorrow. Close association of opposite words. 
a)Personification    b)Climax
The country wears the
perfect smile.
Anaesthesia, Amnesia,
a) The country is treated as human being(country smiles) .
b)   Ideas are arranged in ascending order.
5.Paradox so history is new again There is  absurd contrast as history is said to be new. 
6. Metaphor knock off useless blocks with dental dexterity  Blocks are implicitly compared with teeth and planners with dentist. 
7. Repetition  They plan. They build. The word ‘They’ is repeated many times in the poem. 

(A11) Compose four lines expressing the grief of having lost nature due to

1. Developers develop cities
Turn deaf ears to the cries
Of environmentalists. Duties
We have to stop nature fries.

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