Penelope’s Choice

Posted by: Maria Atalanti

Published on: 09/09/2020

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The daughters of Nereus

brought, by the waves,

to the shore of Ithaca

deposited their father’s gleaming gem

on the beach.

For centuries now they used to play

with the humans’ desire

for glittering acquisitions.

As soon as a mortal, full of praise,

took the gem to show it to his friends

this would become a piece of coal,

his hands would become black

and his soul would wither from the people’s mockery.

The daughters of Nereus would then ride

again, on the waves

and with the gem in their palms

would start looking for another shore

to play.

An eternal endless game.

On the shore of Ithaca

Penelope was playing.

She was not a woman; she was not a child.

She was at the beginning of puberty.

The gem shined in her eyes,

and the Nereids, were laughing secretly

behind the foam of the waves.

Penelope reached out and took it.

Like lighting the desire of her life

raised in her memory.

She ran to leave the gem

at the feet of Athena Pallas

and simply said:

— For you Goddess.

Nereus’ daughters were scared.

They could never again get the gem back.

They had lost it forever.

Frightened they dived into the waves and vanished.

Penelope had a clear look

And when she faced the Goddess

she was not scared.

-Your gift is rare, Penelope.

Rare and treasured.

What do you want from me?

– Goddess, I wish the time of my wedding

not to be given to a man.

even if he is a king

even if he is a nobleman,

but to the MAN.

That is what my heart desires

That is what I ask.

That is what I choose.


the voice of the Goddess

was vibrating in the space and everything was swaying.

– Penelope do not ask for anything above

the human

because the price

will be superhuman.

– I choose Goddess

and I will pay the price.

-Penelope, I am warning you

you are to be hurt, you are going to break

you are going to split in two.

– I choose Goddess and

I will pay the price.

– Penelope, no one can have

the MAN for life

because he is above life.

-I choose Goddess and

I am content with mere nuggets of perfection…

— Let it be, then!

The voice echoed

and in Ithaca there was an earthquake.


Penelope, the queen of Ithaca

was looking at the sea silently.

The suitors were getting drunk in the courtyard

craving for Penelope to be their wife.

She was waiting for the MAN.

She awaited twenty years

And now she felt that that the time had come.

If his name was Ulysses

If he was a king

It did not matter.

If he was the legend of Greece

It did not matter either.

He was the MAN.

The flesh, the spirit, the heart.

He was the wholeness.

She was waiting for him.

And the suitors in the courtyard…

They were the remnants of mediocrity.


From the bridal bed

And through the open window

Penelope was looking at the moon.

Besides her Ulysses.

The MAN.

She smiled happily.

– Helen, she whispered, you caused

a war

but I won it.

And she fell asleep.

It was the time of performance

August 15, 200


If you want to read the relevant myth, follow the link below:


Editing in English by Andreas Markides

2 responses to “Penelope’s Choice”

  1. Jacob Papageorgiou says:

    Very nice!

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