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Prologue_Living ghosts

Ravenser Odd

Michael Daniels

A cyclical process of deposition and erosion causes islands and promontories to build up and wash away on the North bank at the mouth of the river Humber.


In the early 13th Century, a sand or gravel bank appeared, possibly coalesced around the wreck of a grounded ship. Believing it to be a beached monster, people rowed out to behold this supernatural occurrence.


By 1230 a port town, Ravenser Odd, had been established there, and soon flourished through a combination of trade and piracy. It briefly achieved a position of national significance, but its political and economic highpoint also coincided with the beginning of its destruction…



'A richly detailed page-turner and wonderfully compelling, Ravenser Odd is a vivid, haunting meditation on the power of the elements and powerlessness, and on the active endurance of the historical afterlife  ‘where absence crowds the empty air’. Inventive and lyrical, the music of Daniels’ terza rima narration dramatises the story of this drowned town with a marvellous propulsion, not unlike that of the imagined sea, which ‘would not be spoken through, // or paraphrased, or watered down.' Jane Draycott


‘Michael Daniels’ Ravenser Odd is a bold, imaginative recreation of a place lost to the sea, powerfully evoking
flood, tempest and the passage of time. The poem takes
on a formal challenge worthy of its subject.’
Sean O’Brien



In between bringing up children and working as a psychotherapist in the NHS, Michael Daniels has been steadily writing poetry and prose for the past thirty years.

The land fortells its future

The new land is surveyed

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