The poetic love and the mythological echoes of Yiannis Ritsos’ Erotika
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The poetic love and the mythological echoes of Yiannis Ritsos’ Erotika

The National Archaeological Museum continues the circle of events entitled “Archeology and Poetry”, which accompanies the periodical “Odyssees”, with the lecture of the Professor of Neohellenic Literature of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Gina Kalogirou, in relation to the poetic love and mythological references in Yannis Ritsos‘ “Erotika”.

In many poetic compositions of his maturity, Yannis Ritsos returns to the archetypal roots of the myth and dialects with classical texts of antiquity. In the lecture there will be a special reason for the collection Erotika (1980-81), in which the poet, directly or indirectly, refers to well-known mythical people (eg Odysseus / Penelope), who he submits to a semantic transformation. Possible correlations will also be made with the poem “Despair of Penelope” (1968). In general, in the collection of Erotika, the mythical personalities are revived in the pleasure and health of love and, as they enter into poems with intense and diffuse eroticism, they acquire erotic connotations. By combining the myth with the erotic element or with references to contemporary everyday life, the poet ends up in a grand vision. The woman appears both as a multiform, enigmatic, and deeply sensual presence. Sometimes taking the form of anonymous beloved, sometimes as Penelope, she is associated with an irresistibly provocative eroticism that disrupts social conveniences.

Gina Kalogirou has thoroughly studied the work of Yiannis Ritsos, on which her doctoral dissertation entitled “Issues of Interpretation and Teaching in the Work of Yannis Ritsos (The Case of the Iconography of Saints Anonymous)” was based. Numerous studies in Greek, English and French have been published in collective volumes, scientific journals and conferences in Greece and abroad.

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