The City Planners by Margaret Atwood
From the title ‘The City Planners’ we can predict that the poem will be about ____________________________________________________.
The first line ‘cruising these residential Sunday/streets in dry August sunlight’ gives us the impression that _________________________________________________________.
‘Cruising’ suggests ____________________________________ , with the alliterative ‘Sunday streets’ implying ________________________, ‘dry August sunlight’ lulling the reader into _________________. The next line ‘what offends us is the sanities’ comes as a jolt and the rest of the poem is Attwood’s criticism of _____________________________. ‘Pedantic rows’ and ‘sanitary trees’ expresses the poet’s thoughts about suburbia which she describes as __________________________
She then provides a simile by comparing the ‘levelness of surface’ or rather the height of the trees as a ‘rebuke’ to the ‘dent in our car door’. This suggests that ____________________________. She goes on to reinforce the imagery of suburbia by saying that there is ‘no shouting here, or shatter of glass’ which provides us with a positive image of life in a residential area. This line suggests that ____________. However it is juxtaposed in the next line when she describes the abruptness of the ___________________________________________.
Stanza two continues the predicament that challenges suburbia in a way by pointing out flaws. There is a distinct similarity between stanza one and two in that there is list of complaints relating to suburbia. Her description of the monotony of roof tiling –‘all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky’-because we are made to think that _________________. Some images that stand out for Atwood in suburbia are the offensive smell of oil which smells faintly like vomit and a splash of paint is compared to a bruise. She says that the paint is as ‘surprising’ as a bruise because ______________________________. The same tone is repeated when she describes ‘a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil’. This gives us the impression that ____________________ . The hose is followed by a comma to reinforce the list of things she finds offensive about suburbia, mentioning the ‘too-fixed stare of the wide windows.
In the next few stanzas the tone shifts from a list of suburban ills to what might happen in the future. Attwood’s apocalyptic vision is that __________________________________________. She later says that even the ‘clay seas’ will become contested territories and the City Planners of the future will still map out another city.