Song of Ramapough

by – Kenneth Lumpkin (Author)

A Poetics of Place 

Available on Amazon

Book Description:

BUY THE BOOK THAT INSPIRED A COLLEGE COURSE, NOW IN ITS 4th EDITION, WITH 4 NEW POEMS ADDED. Song of Ramapough is a poetic celebration of land and life. This collection of poems, centered around a particular place, the Ramapo Mountains of New York and New Jersey, is inspired, in part, by the local geology, biology and human history. With such precedents as Charles Olson’s “Maximus Poems” and William Carlos Williams’ “Paterson”, the poet seeks a deeper connection with the greater Earth processes for both himself and the reader.

Reviews for the Book

I bought this book of poems because the author was someone I knew from school back in Ridgewood, NJ and I got a feel for his affinities to the area from excerpts of his on Facebook. I am also quite familiar with the Ramapo area starting from when I was very young up until graduating from high school and leaving the area. Ken’s poems reverentially paint the area which must have been sacred to Native Americans living there. He evokes the timeless spirit which has suffered over the decades as a result of development, development and development. A huge loss and for what ultimately? Anyway I resonated with these poems. Very original no frills style that captivates. Hey, just pick it up and immerse. - Richard G. Jerskey

About the Author: Kenneth Lumpkin

Kenneth Lumpkin is an educator, writer, poet, musician, Freemason and activist. He has published four collections of poetry to date: “Gather the Ashes”, 1984, winner of the Louis Ginsberg Memorial Fellowship from the Chaucer Guild, “Song of Ramapough: A Poetics of Place”, 2016, “Love Lake”, 2017 and “God Has Many Names and other poems”, 2018 and “Slip of the Tongue”, 2019 NS “Possum: Tales from the Hidden Wood”, 2021. He teaches anthropology online through three New Jersey state universities and resides in London, Ontario with his wife, Kim and cat, Molly.

Song of Ramapough is a work that has some years behind it…38 as of this writing. It is a poetics of place. In this sense, it gets a lot of its direction and inspiration from Charles Olson’s Maximus Poems and William Carlos Williams’ Paterson. It was my intent when I started this project to write something that bespoke of the land, in this case, the Ramapo Mountain area of upper Bergen County, New Jersey and parts of Rockland and Orange Counties, New York. The idea was that it would be an environmental learning tool as well as a collection of poems. It is, in fact, one long poem to a particular place, the Ramapo Mountains. The personal hope was that if I got to know one distinct place on this planet intimately, I would also come to know the larger place, and therefore, the very Earth, itself.

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