Themes and Meanings (Masterplots II: Poetry, Revised Edition)
“Against Confidences” focuses on two main areas: the development of personal relationships and the modern popularity of effusiveness in print, speech, psychiatric treatment, and some social relationships. The repeated word “now” may apply to the development of personal (especially romantic) relationships, in which the participants may wrongly believe that a complete, uncritical outpouring of the self is mandated. Such an outpouring, the poem implies, will probably be warped by the romantic partners’ deep-seated fears of injury to their self-esteem or by concerns about damage to the relationship.
The repeated word “now” may also point to modern times. Against the modern popularity of self-indulgently telling all, Davie’s speaker counterposes the precise, vaguely archaic literary word for despising or scorning, “contemned” (stanza 1). In the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when “Against Confidences” was published, highly autobiographical, confessional poetry was gathering momentum in American and British literature. Confessional poetry is perhaps best exemplified by the work of a group of talented American poets that includes Robert Lowell, W. D. Snodgrass, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, and John Berryman. This strand of modern poetry, which extends back to the poetry of Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth, continues to the present.
Davie’s “Against Confidences,” far from...
(The entire section is 324 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Against Confidences Themes. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!