• ISSN: 2155-7993
  • Journal of Modern Education Review

“Lyrical Mathematics”: Odysseas Elytis

Evanthia Batema, Zacharo Kouni

(1. Thessaloniki 18 High School, Greece; 2. Upper Secondary School, Greece)

Abstract: Through the teaching plan that follows an attempt is made to shed light on some aspects of the interface between poetry and mathematics in the work of a major modern Greek poet, Odysseas Elytis, with a view to claiming that, despite their different starting points, these two intellectual activities can be combined to describe and fully interpret our experiential reality, the world and its structure. The teaching scenario is based on the theory of Constructivism, according to which students are given the opportunity to discover knowledge through the construction of broader, richer and more substantial cognitive patterns. By detecting mathematical elements (structural, numeral, geometric) students have the opportunity to attempt a new interpretive approach to Elytis, to document the influence of ancient Greek philosophy as well as that of the folk and ecclesiastical tradition on his poetry and to discover the significance of nature’s secret numbers for his thought. They are also invited to investigate the ways in which Elytis converses with artwork (synikones), thereby documenting his interest in the work of the Cubists, in geometric form as well as in the purity and simplicity of structures based on artistic compositions and images from antiquity.

Key words: poetry and mathematics, Elytis, interpretation of the world, constructivism

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