Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber REVIEW

Undying: A Love Story

Undying: A Love Story by Michel Faber
Published by Canongate Books
Published 7 July 2016
145 pages
Digital library book

Author Website




How can you say goodbye to the love of your life?

In Undying Michel Faber honours the memory of his wife, who died after a six-year battle with cancer. Bright, tragic, candid and true, these poems are an exceptional chronicle of what it means to find the love of your life. And what it is like to have to say goodbye.

All I can do, in what remains of my brief time,
Is mention, to whoever cares to listen,
That a woman once existed, who was kind
And beautiful and brave, and I will not forget
How the world was altered, beyond recognition,
When we met.


From Of Old Age, In Our Sleep

Although there is no God, let us not leave off praying
For words solemn order may yet prove to be a charm
Sickness swarms around us, scheming harm
Plotting our ruin behind our back
Let us pray we may escape attack…


One of the things I love about poetry is how therapeutic it is – both reading and writing it. Poetry is therapy for a lot of things including grief, sorrow, getting over a lost love or just a way of coping with everyday troubles that are getting on top of you. I’ve used writing poetry as a form of therapy for years. In Undying: A Love Story, Faber writes poetry to cope with grief over the death of his wife and to express the anger he feels at being cheated out of spending his life with her. These poems are raw and full of dark and light. The pain and rage and sense of helpless literally leap off the page. I had a lump in my throat the whole time. I was moved to tears several times. I loved every poem in Undying: A Love Story. I really enjoyed Old Bird Not Very Well, Right There on the Floor, Cute and Such a Simple Thing I Could Have Fixed. I enjoyed part 2 the most. Most of the poems deal with the aftermath of his wife’s death and they are raw and painful to read. My First Date After You is particularly heart-breaking. Undying: A Love Story is a striking collection of poems that explore grief, sorrow and loss and I’d highly recommend it.




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