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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Poetry – a lever for the protection of bios Lesbos – world center for the “bio-assessment” of poetry Prof. Agni Vlavianos Arvanitis

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Prof. Agni Vlavianos Arvanitis

President and Founder, Biopolitics International Organization

A beacon of diachronic values

We live in a country of limitless horizontal potential empowered by deep cultural roots and diachronic values. It is precisely these diachronic values that have defined Hellenic culture, and will continue to provide inspiration now and in the future.

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International cooperation and respect for bios – all life on our planet – can become powerful catalysts for a global society of hope. As proposed since 1985 by the Biopolitics International Organisation (B.I.O.), every corner of Greece can serve as a world center for the “bio-assessment of progress,” based on its cultural and historic contribution. Through constructive dialogue, with a thesis, antithesis, and synthesis of new values, progress and creativity in every field can be evaluated on the basis of their life-supporting dimensions, in order to mitigate climate change and ensure the continuation of the fragile gift of bios.

Lesbos – the island of Apollo and poetry

Coin from the city of Eressus, featuring Sappho, 1st – 2nd century CE

Lesbos, land of the ancient Aeolians and sacred island of Apollo – god of music and poetry, has been the birthplace of many renowned poets and writers since time immemorial: the famous ancient lyric poets Sappho and Alcaeus; the remarkable novelists of the 1930s Stratis Myrivilis and Elias Venezis; and, notwithstanding, the world acclaimed poet Odysseas Elytis, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature, whose works blazoned Lesbos as the quintessential land of poetry.

The Sanctuary of Apollo at Klopedi, 8th centrury BCE

Perhaps no other place on the European map could better serve as a time-spanning bridge between the old and the new, between ancient and modern thought, culture, language and civilization. Poetry is a form of freedom, revealing the eternal human need for expression. The immortal truths expressed in poetry have the power to uplift and motivate us on both an emotional and practical level.

Coin of ancient Lesbos, 480-450 BCE

In his great works, celebrated for their astonishing lyricism and profound optimism, Nobel laureate Odysseas Elytis, captured the natural wonders of his homeland and gave voice to a more universally human consciousness. He derived the imagistic beauty in his poems from the natural world with which he was deeply and permanently enamored, emphasizing the energy of life and the spirit of nature. These timeless values of life and of a deeper appreciation of bios need to be revived today.

A year-round tourist destination

It is therefore more than apparent that Lesbos, the archetypal crossroads between east and west, can serve as the ideal world center for the “bio-assessment of poetry.” International meetings can be held year-round to promote a collective study and perception of poetry in reference to its contribution to the appreciation and protection of bios. No new buildings or infrastructure are required. The goal is to turn Lesbos into a 12-month tourist destination through international conferences and symposia with global reach. Poets, critics, and literary experts can meet and discuss their experiences, and propose new directions for the future based on a deeper understanding of our immediate link to all forms of bios, through insights that only poetry can deliver. These reflections and experiences can be compiled into an online Bank of Ideas, to become available and shared internationally, in order to reach and inspire every citizen on the planet.

Microcosmos – inspiration and motivation for the future

Art has always honored the infinite beauty of the world we see, the world accessed by our senses. With the progress of technology, we now have the possibility to also appreciate the beauty of the microcosmos – the unseen world of cells and molecules. As repeatedly proclaimed by B.I.O., it is time for poetry and the arts to join technology in appreciating the wonderful symmetry and harmony of our microscopic universe and of all the amazing functions of bios. In this way it will become apparent that the ultimate role of every aspect of human creativity is to protect and uphold this unique and precious gift.

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