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Love, an Index

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A man disappears. The woman who loves him is left scarred and haunted. In her fierce, one-of-a-kind debut, Rebecca Lindenberg tells the story—in verse—of her passionate relationship with Craig Arnold, a much-respected poet who disappeared in 2009 while hiking a volcano in Japan. Lindenberg’s billowing, I-contain-multitudes style lays bare the poet’s sadnesses, joys, and lo ...more
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by McSweeney's (first published March 13th 2012)
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How To Say Goodbye by James ValvisThe Early Death of Men by Clint MargraveDirt Road Dreams by Susie ClevengerAngels Cried by Stephen L. WilsonThe Best of Every Day Poets Two by Oonah V. Joslin
Best of New 2012 Poetry Books
38th out of 98 books — 206 voters
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KiwiFoo 2013 recommendations
22nd out of 62 books — 5 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,138)
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Courtney Johnston
(knows she's famous / in a tiny, tragic way. / She's not / daft, / after all. - 'The Girl With The Ink-Stained Teeth'.)

It is impossible for me to tell if this is a 'good' book or not. All I know is that it often feels like Lindenberg is writing my own poems.

There's reading people's lips as they speak to you, standing slightly outside your body and wondering at these flesh-and-blood beings and the things they want to share with you.

'Losing Language: A Phrasebook'

....
He'll always be with you You
...more
Shinji Moon
I was on the train home from Manhattan earlier today and read this once over in the 50 minutes that I had. The entire book is genius. The poetry is seamless, and by the end I was so touched that I started to cry, quietly, in the little train carriage. I haven't been moved this much by something in a very long time. This book found me at such a perfect time. I was just starting to forget why I loved poetry so much.
Louisa
Oh, this was beautiful. Lindenberg wrote this in honour of her partner Craig Arnold's disappearance after he was scouting a volcano. Her love for him shows so clearly, as does the agony of losing the other half of your soul. My heart almost broke progressing through the book. Anyone who appreciates modern American poetry should definitely pick this up, and savour the 90+ pages while it lasts.
Molly
The top of my head, it has come off!

sake is produced by multiple fermentations of rice. Sometimes it tastes like heavy moonlight, sometimes it tastes like a neon sign that's just been turned off (7)

galaxy of snow-stars (16)

the sounds of rain / ruining itself upon the ground (19)

the sky flaps like a sheet. // Shadows hurry back / into their objects. (24)

interview: http://believermag.tumblr.com/post/20...
Caitlin
Lindenberg's poetry is so beautifully and tenderly rendered that I found an immediate connection as a reader. Never have I felt so much from an entire collection of poems that I was brought to tears. This is a must read for anyone even slightly inclined towards poetry.
Kasia
This book was a little like being punched in the gut. Excuse me while I go cry into the neck of my beloved and implore him never to hike volcanoes alone.
Luis Correa
Holy shit. This is everything.
Sarah
I always feel a little guilty in really getting into a book which is built off of someone else's grief. Some of the books I have loved (and been affected by most) are memoirs of love and loss: "Say Her Name," "The Long Goodbye," and "The Year of Magical Thinking" to name but a few.

Love, an Index is perhaps the first book of poems which I can add to that list of lovely but heartbreaking works. To mangle a common phrase, I don't know what "good" poetry is, but I know what I like, and I am particu
...more
Janet
Feb 14, 2015 Janet added it
Shelves: poems
I didn't rate this book because I felt that to do so would be disrespectful of the complexity of the poems and the intensity of the relationship and the grief they commemorate.

Honestly, Lindenberg is probably not a poet whose work I will seek out -- but as someone who also suddenly lost a beloved I read this volume with the eyes and soul of a kindred mourner and found much to appreciate.

This book will have an honored place on my shelf and I will revisit it in the future.
Karstee
Best book of modern poetry I have ever read! Makes the old saying ring true "...better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." the poet lost her lover in 2009 in Japan when he went missing. This is her grieving process in the form of poetry... And it is so beautiful! This book isn't out quite yet, but is available on mcsweeney's website. So.... GOOD!
Lynn
This book is hard for me to "review" because many of the poems are about someone I know. That said, I admire the poems & I appreciate their language. I admire the emotion in many of them. Many of them I just plain like, because they are amusing (such as the status update poems).
I think Rebecca is a good poet, and I look forward to reading more books by her in the future.
Michelle
This is a beautiful little book of poetry, written after the disappearance of the author's partner. It chronicles their early love, life together, and the feelings that are left after a lover's death. I teared up at the last poem. The styles of the poems vary--some are short and fragmentary, others are more formal, a few are prose poems (two based on FB status updates), and one is a long "index":

... LEMON, Meyer, you brined them for tagine. How I love that word, tagine. / soap, when I got out of
...more
Maida
I am so sorry to hear of the author's loss. It's wonderful that she wrote a novel in verse as a vehicle for expressing her grief & as a way to commemorate her late husband.... I really wanted to love her poetry, but I just didn't. *A regretful 2/5 stars*
Sandra Lambert
The poem Illuminations, with it's commentaries, left me in awe. Then the Versus poems left me flayed. Reading poetry lifts my prose writing to that other place.
D'Anne
I haven't been this engrossed in a book of poetry in a very long time. So, so good.
Margaryta
This book was on the list of Shinji Moon's favourite books, so I decided to go through the whole list and read the ones that caught my eye. This was one of them, especially being a collection of poetry and on top of that on the topic of love and loss.

Several of the poems were unusually structured, the most interesting one being "Love, an Index", in which I find several topics were touched upon and through a clever use of word choice, metaphors, and the words/lines of other authors. There was a c
...more
Julia
I absolutely LOVED this little collection of poetry. I had the opportunity to go to a poetry reading where Rebecca Lindenberg read, and I instantly fell in love with her words. Of course, I had to go buy the book.
Her book is one of so much love and so much loss seamlessly intertwined into a beautiful, tragic love story. Each poem offers a glimpse into Lindenberg's story of romance, and each glimpse is poignant. The title poem, "Love, An Index" catalogs experiences and associations Lindenberg ha
...more
Michelle Llewellyn
I was fortunate enough to hear Ms. Lindenberg read a sampling of this book aloud on a warm spring night in March, 2012. I was also one of her students last summer at the University of Utah. The title poem, Love, an Index is a brilliant modern poem which is very personal, going though each letter of the alphabet indexing the narrator's most heartfelt memories and recollections yet abstract enough for any reader to relate to. A carnival, a vacation on the beach, these are just some of the images L ...more
Casey
Wow. Rebecca Lindenberg's writing is both complex and simplistic, yet it manages to contain the emotions of the world in either firm with ease. Her style is what I look for in poetry. I loved reading through this collection of poems, written by a lover, though by a lover whose loved one has vanished without a trace. I need a copy of Love, An Index.
Penelope
This is a pretty amazing read, and I was awed by most of Lindenberg's writing. However, I don't think this is the type of book I would re-read (at least...not any time soon). There are many poems that "speak" to broader experiences of pain and loss, but overall this book is very personal and I almost felt like an intruder in the author's mind. For some people I'm sure this is a testament to the power of Lindenberg's poetry, but for me it just seemed like the poems held relatively little meaning ...more
Hans
Poetry has been a very small slice of my reading list for quite a while...probably since college. This means I'm both a bit rusty with reading poetry but also ready to jump into something that feels new.

The poems together tell a story of love. The label on the back of the book gives you some details, but if you dive into the poems without reading the back, you'll slowly pick up parts of the journey as certain places and themes start to recur and overlap.

I didn't wholly connect with all the poems
...more
Cathie
Very good modern poetry. The writer's boyfriend, poet Craig Arnold, went missing while walking a volcano trail in Japan; this is her writings on grief, loss, love and memories. Love, An Index, the major poem in this compilation found in the middle of the book takes every letter of the alaphabet and looks at the defining meaning of certain words in relation to the love they shared.
"COMPROMISE - I will get up early with you as long as you've made coffee."
later on,
"DESIRE, a cord played deep in t
...more
Kate Lechtenberg
Reading this was a beautiful treat on a cold day. I don't think I can say much else, but know that it is a beautiful book if words and feelings nd images...I loved letting them all wash over me.

Franklin Library, thank you for displaying it, and Ankeny schools, thanks for canceling today so I could read it. (And thank you Des Moines schools for NOT closing so I could go to the library myself!)
Jacqueline
I picked this one up at the library feeling like reading some poetry not even knowing anything about the actual events that took place.

As I began reading, my heart broke. I started thinking, "Wow, did this actually happen?" Once as I realized so, it made the story so much more tragic. The enigma of where he is is captured so beautifully.

The way that she wrote about her relationship was so beautiful. Reminiscent, honest, troubling, relatable.

Her writing is wonderful. Sharing such a personal tal
...more
Leanne
This is so gorgeous and so sad and so open and inviting. The title poem is an A to Z index of her 6 years with the poet Craig Arnold, who vanished while hiking a volcano in Japan. Reading this makes me want to live a fuller life, because you never know when the most important things (or people) will disappear. You don't have to be a poetry expert to enjoy this book -- there are poems about Facebook status updates, for example -- but it will give you new appreciation for the form.
Kerri
Jan 02, 2015 Kerri rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: meh
I am not a poetry lover, but I did enjoy the language here, and her ability to create a scene/impression/feeling with a minimum of words. The story of her missing partner was compelling, and it's interesting to read the two halves of the collection with that knowledge. While it's not my favorite form, I can appreciate it and am glad I read the book.
Isaac
The center section, the index of love from A to Z, is elegant in its language. This collection has the strengths of all great poetry, truth, emotion, humor, and precision. I can't really out favorites from this collection, they are all so great, but I really enjoyed "Status Update." I read through this collection in two days, I couldn't put it down.
Chairness
Heartbreaking and beautiful...if you are looking for a book of poetry to leave you feeling authentic loss in the pit of your gut look no further. Her way with words alone make for a expertly crafted book of poetry but with the subject in mind the reader boggles at how she is able to smartly index such a heartwrenching subject.
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Rebecca Lindenberg earned a BA from the College of William & Mary and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. Her essays and criticism have appeared widely, and she has been a guest blogger for the Best American Poetry Blog. Her collection of poetry, Love, An Index (2012), focuses on her relationship with her partner, the poet Craig Arnold; Terrance Hayes describe ...more
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“You give me an apartment full of morning smells- toasted bagel and black coffee and the freckled lilies in the vase on the windowsill. You give me 24-across.” 12 likes
“FRAGMENT, I am a fragment of us. I am a fragment composed
of fragments. Mosaic, pastiche, ruin. Everyday
consciousness proposes lightbulb, ropeswing, teapot,
David Bowie, your sweater on, your sweater off, tomatillo,
all associated. Parts suggesting the whole
they long to be gathered into.”
5 likes
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