Literature Annotations

Piercy, Marge
The Long Death

On-Line Text
Genre Poem
KeywordsCancer, Chronic Illness/Chronic Disease, Death and Dying, Human Worth, Nature, Public Health, Technology
SummaryPiercy writes painfully and poignantly about the silent and slow death(s) from radiation exposure. In this nine stanza catalogue, she parades the incidents known or suspected to be the source of clusters of disease, disability and demise related to ignorant or irresponsible exposure of humans to nuclear testing and nuclear installations. She juxtaposes the beauties of nature, "The soft spring rain . . . " and the secret poisons with which man has contaminated her, ". . . blowing from the irradiated cloud." And, finally, she muses on the fact that we simply accept our symptoms instead of confronting our murderers.
SourceThe Moon is Always Female
Place PublishedNew York
Annotated by Willms, Janice L.
Date of Entry 06/14/96
Last Revised 11/22/09