Polymnia | The peculiar intellectual

Translation from Greek to English: georgiaath

Write… Write about yesterday, about today, about tomorrow, write angry words, real and tough…

1938 AD

The woman in the chair of her house, reminisces and writes. She remembers as if she lived it just yesterday, that’s how close she is to the memories. Her spontaneity, honesty and tendency to explain even the smallest detail, clearly and without flourishes, of events that marked a childhood and an adolescence, broke her. But not in tears, never in tears. An entire era, when children are suffocating and their mental world rests on a strand of hair, a strand of their own hair, how long can they endure… and yet she is here, and she writes… Liberation does not take long, even if it is this short one she feels in this deposit of her soul…

She gets up from the chair and goes out to the balcony to take a look at her neighborhood. She knows she will need to say goodbye. Does she know that she will see it 100 more times? 200? 300? Whatever the number, they are limited. She will travel elsewhere, she will fight for Greece from somewhere else. The sun is setting and the woman is enjoying the sunset, while darkness is making its appearance in her city’s streets.

The figure that observes her closely at that time, will not leave her side. She sits and observes her and talks in her ear. She whispers words of strength and courage to her. This figure knows what it is doing, Muse Polymnia always knows what she’s doing.

The woman enters her home again and sits down to write. Her words are ground breaking, she feels it disturb even her, her difficult character and her tough skin.

…Who could ever understand what love is… When you want to press your body against another, – is that it? When the night comes, and you don’t dare to be alone, – is that love? When you hurt people is it love? …Or when it takes a person to be near to, to understand who you are, – who knows then… is it love? We use chemistry to explain the feeling. When two connected jars continuously receive a liquid, and they necessarily share it. That is why we would like the human soul to have no continuity at all. Do you think that’s right kid? …But this is not the strangest thing. It’s strange when you can renew yourself every time, carry yourself further, never ending, every time, and yet… remember

Tired of her writing herself, she rests her palm on her forehead and breathes heavily and with difficulty.

“Can you hear me Muse?” the woman says to the air.

“If you hear me, leave, don’t come back, don’t see me again. Go away, go to someone else! So many people, so many writers, find someone else!”

Polymnia, although always serious and thoughtful, smiles and answers, with a whisper that travels through the woman’s ears.

“There is no other person, no other writer who can. There is no other voice but yours that must be heard, and it must be heard loudly, like a thunderbolt through the hearts and minds of all.”

The woman hears her loud and clear. In this time, women’s voices must be heard just as clearly. She knows, Polymnia has spoken to her about this battle in the regime. She knows she has a big role to play. Her active participation in the games would force her to leave Greece, to seek refuge elsewhere. What she didn’t know was when that would be…

1973 AD

“Muse… are you here?” the woman hardly speaks anymore. She knows that the end is near. But she knows, once again, that the Muse is by her side and keeps her company.

Polymnia lovingly rests her hand on the woman’s forehead. On the woman who spoke, wrote and threw lightning in Greece with her work and her loud action.

” Melpo?” Polymnia responds

“I was a kid when you first visited me… and now having lived my whole life, with the whim of the writer and the mad one, I wonder… was it worth it? was it worth living and fighting for all this?”

“You are a woman who fought more than I expected. Always steadfast in your beliefs and your goals. You are a woman who will never be forgotten. Your voice has already entered the Pantheon of mortal literature… and the souls of your loved ones. If it was worth it, you ask me? Is it worth living without speaking? without supporting the weak? Without following your heart? The whim you speak of has always been your strength, always your sword and with it you have stabbed many. So it was worth more than that! Do not doubt it, especially now at the end of your life!”

Melpo tears up and shuts herself back into her mind. The amnesia she has suffered in recent years does not allow her to remember that she has been having the same conversation with Polymnia every day for some time now. But Polymnia does not abandon her. Until her last day, she stayed by her side, saying the same things over and over again.


Melpo Axioti (1905-1973), her turbulent life, her sharp written speech and her active political action, were written in history. A peculiar intellectual (as I read in an article about her) who fought for rights and for Greece itself.

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