Cancer Cells

Cancer Cells

Cancer Cells is preceded by an epigraph, which is as follows: "Cancer cells are those which have forgotten how to die." A nurse at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

They have forgotten how to die
And so extend their killing life.

I and my tumour dearly fight,
Let's hope a double death is out.

I need to see my tumour dead
A tumour which forgets to die
But plans to murder me instead.

But I remember how to die
Though all my witnesses are dead.
But I remember what they said
Of tumours which would render them
As blind and dumb as they had been
Before the birth of that disease
Which brought the tumour into play.

The black cells will dry up and die
Or sing with joy and have their way.
They breed so quietly night and day,
You never know, they never say.

2002


from Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics (Faber & Faber, 2005), copyright © Harold Pinter 2005, used by permission of the author

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Recordings

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1After Lunch

2Meeting

3Cancer Cells

4The Disappeared

5Death

6Order

7Cricket at Night

8Poem (Don't Look...)

9God

10It Is Here

11Before They Fall

12Ghost

13Poem (The lights glow...)

14Joseph Brearley 1909 - 1977

15Denmark Hill

16Message

17I know the place

18Paris

19Poem (and all the others...)

20Later

21Poem (they kissed...)

22All of That

23Poem (Always where...)

24The Table

25Afternoon

26Daylight

27The Error of Alarm

28The Task

29The Second Visit

30You in the Night

31The Anaesthetist's Pin

32The Drama in April

33Episode

34The Islands of Arran Seen from the Moher Cliffs

35A Glass at Midnight

36I Shall Tear Off My Terrible Cap

37The Midget

38New Year in the Midlands

39At the Palace of the Emperor at Dawn

40School Life

Books by Harold Pinter