One of the most famous American poets James Merrill was praised by critics for his moral sensibilities, stylish elegance of his poems and prose, as well as transformation of the various moments of his biography into the complex and philosophical meditations. For his matchless style of writing, he is considered to be one of the leading poets of the 20th century.
Casual Wear by James Merrill is one of the brilliant examples of his poetry. It has so many aspects to analyze, but one is the most important. It warns the readers that every one may appear in the wrong time and the wrong place. Terrorist attacks may occur everywhere. The terrorists even may be ordinary people that no one can guess who they are. However, it is also devastating when death initiated by terrorist occurs. The first lines of the poem show the reader an ordinary female tourist and a male terrorist, but without any emotions; it is just a dry statistics. Every one can be on the place of these people. At the very end of the poem, Merrill provides the outcome of attack for both the tourist and the terrorist.
It should be said that the tourists terribly often are ignorant of the severe conditions of the poor people from the countries that they would like to visit. They take care of the things that are often overvalued in human life (for example, cloth made by famous designer, which is usually overpriced). People wrongly believe that such things matter something in their life. From this point of view, the poem sounds rather ironically. Dressing in the expensive clothes the tourist’s wife does not know that, at the same day, she could die because of the terrorist attack. Perhaps, she would better take care of some immaterial things. The people who live in three blocks away from the place of interest for tourists and hotels full of Europeans and Americans are killing each other in religious skirmishes as well civil unrest. Moreover, those people are starving. However, ordinary Americans do not take care about that fact, and it is obtuseness.