Three Tankas by Sean Prentiss

Art credit - Elizabeth Stark

Art credit – Elizabeth Stark

Sean Prentiss once spent most of his year living in a tent in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest as he worked for Northwest Youth Corps, building trails across the West. During this time, he bathed in rivers and lakes, washed his clothes by hand, ate food burned to the bottom of Dutch ovens, and never shaved. He now has moved on to inside work, as an assistant professor at Norwich University. And though he bathes regularly, shaves daily, and is now washing his clothes in the washer machine, he dreams to the trail every night.

Sean is the author of Finding Abbey: A Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave and the co-editor of The Far Edges of the Fourth Genre: An Anthology of Explorations in Creative Nonfiction.

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3 thoughts on “Three Tankas by Sean Prentiss

  1. What precise descriptions in such compact form! Sean brought me into a world I know little about. AND, I love his beard — although it’s probably gone, along with Dutch ovens and dirty clothes.

  2. An unusual and effective tanka treatment employing titles to introduce each tanka and linking it to the following by repetition of elements of the final line (‘hands’, ‘stories’, ‘hickory’) The imagery, as in so much short form poetry is sensual, physical and evocative, so we can almost smell that chainsaw oil – nice! 🙂

    That visual of wearied arms swinging ‘like wild wind’ is a striking finish…

    marion

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